Cable operator ntl posted narrower second-quarter losses after adding 66,000 net additional customers in the three months to June 30, taking its residential customer base to 3.26m. The company's business division weighed on total revenues, which slipped 2.3% to £482.5m.
Losses from continuing operations narrowed to £66.1m, compared to a deficit of £267m a year ago. ntl said it planned to operate stricter credit screening in a bid to decrease bad debt, a move it warned could lower the number of gross additions in the near term, but said the new policy was right for the "long-term health" of the business. There was no comment on the company's widely-anticipated merger with Telewest.
ntl, which on Monday announced it was due to increase the basic speed of its broadband service from 3 Mbps to 10 Mbps, five to ten times the speed of other standard broadband services, said it ended the quarter with 1.56m broadband subscribers, an increase of 111,800, and "the largest of any residential broadband provider in the UK".
The company ended the period with 1.96m television subscribers, of which 1.4m were digital, an increase of 17,200 digital subscribers over the previous three months.
ntl said its video-on-demand service, designed to further differentiate itself from satellite and terrestrial television, had been rolled out to around 375,000 customers, "the most of any VOD service provider outside of the US".
Chief executive Simon Duffy said ntl was "actively campaigning" for a change to the way Premier League TV rights are allocated next time. He said he wanted the rights to be broken up into packages, with no single broadcaster allowed to acquire more than 50% of live games.
"It would mean more money for the Premier League, more money for the sport and lower prices for consumers," he said.
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