TalkTalk not worried about BT TV as it outstrips competition

TALKTALK has upped the stakes in the battle for TV customers, saying that more people are signing up for its burgeoning pay-TV platform than for any of its rivals’ services.

Britain’s fourth-biggest internet provider said yesterday that 150,000 people had bought its TV packages in the first three months of 2013, and 230,000 in total since the service began in August. In the same period, BT added 40,000 TV customers, Sky signed up 30,000 and Virgin Media saw a decline.

TalkTalk has branched out into pay-TV mobile contracts recently to arrest a fall in subscribers.

Investors took a hit last week when BT threw a spanner in the works by giving internet users free access to BT sports channels. However, shares recovered much of last week’s losses to finish 7.5 per cent up yesterday.

“We are fundamentally focusing on a different part of the market,” chief executive Dido Harding told City A.M. “Our proposition is about value-seeking families, so I’m not in the least bit worried [about BT].”

TalkTalk’s sales grew 1.4 per cent year-on-year in the quarter to April to £427m, the first period of sales growth for almost two years.