Virgin Media offers new on demand channelCable roll out to cover 97 per cent of homes

09 February 2007

Virgin Media has pledged to ‘shake up’ the telecoms and entertainment industry and offer consumers new products and outstanding customer service.

Virgin Media rebranded from NTL after the cable operator bought Virgin Mobile and Telewest last year. NTL was plagued with complaints about poor customer service, prompting Virgin Media to spent millions on improvements before its launch.

The new company will offer digital television, broadband internet access, and mobile and home telephone services.

Cable roll out

It has also announced plans to reach more than 97 per cent of UK households by rolling out services into non-cable areas this year.

Virgin Media will launch a new interactive TV-on-demand cable channel, Virgin Central, which will be available from 20 February.

Customers will be able to pick from a selection of episodes from shows such as The OC, Nip/Tuck, West Wing, Little Britain, Grey's Anatomy, Alias, Criminal Minds, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Miami, at any one time for free.

Negotiations are continuing to decide whether Virgin Media will be able to offer Sky One.

'Quadplay'

Virgin Media is also set to hit the high street this year, with 15 Virgin Mobile stores offering the ‘quadplay’ of broadband, digital TV, home phone and mobile. It will also add promotional sites in shopping centres across the country and concessions in Virgin Megastores.

Customers will have access to four price plans due to be outlined: Two products from the ‘quadplay’ menu for £20, three for £30 or four for £40, plus the option of a ‘VIP’ premium package.

The company says it will also focus on customer service and has already invested £10m and hired 300 extra customer service employees. It says that 71 per cent of calls are now answered within 30 seconds compared to 37 per cent this time last year.

Head of Virgin Group Sir Richard Branson said: ‘For the first time there is a single brand set to provide a more extensive range of television entertainment, broadband and communication services than previously offered by anyone in the UK.

‘Our transition to Virgin Media has been under way since last July and will continue over the coming months as we roll out an outstanding 21st century customer experience in home entertainment and communications.’

NTL bought Virgin Mobile last July for £962.4 million, which brought together NTL's 5.1 million cable customers and 4.3 million users of Virgin Mobile phones.