February 4, 2014 / 4:05 PM / in 4 years

TalkTalk eyeing 1 million TV subscribers by end of March

LONDON, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Telecoms group TalkTalk said its connected TV service was on track for about 1 million subscribers by the end of March after it signed up 175,000 net new customers in the third quarter, taking its base to 732,000.

TalkTalk launched its TV service 18 months ago, competing with established players BSkyB and Virgin, and a revitalised offer from BT, which has boosted its sports content with Premier league football.

“We are extremely pleased with the take up of TV,” Chief Executive Dido Harding said in an interview.

“We have seen accelerating momentum through the quarter and we are on track to have nearly a million TV customers by the end of the financial year.”

Harding said the group was not targeting people that had comprehensive pay-TV offers, but those looking for a cheaper offer with some additional channel choices, particularly in family entertainment, and catch-up services.

The company has also announced a wholesale deal with BSkyB, which enables its customers to pay 9.99 pounds for a day pass for sports content, she said. The deal will also help Sky recoup some of the cost of its sports rights.

Harding said a similar deal with BT was not on the cards. “The value that BT place on that content and the value that we and our customers do is something quite different, so I‘m not expecting a deal anytime soon.”

Earlier on Tuesday, TalkTalk reported a 5.1 percent rise in total revenue to 436 million pounds ($712 million) for the third quarter. It added 7,000 net broadband customers, excluding just over 100,000 customers that migrated from a Post Office contract.

Its shares reversed early gains and were down 1.4 percent at 306 pence by 1538 GMT.

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