Virgin Media is now the only cable TV operator in the UK, and the #2 in broadband and pay TV behind BT and Sky respectively. It was formed by the relaunch of the old NTL cable business following its acquisition of Virgin Mobile in the UK in 2006. It uses the Virgin brand under license, and has adopted the Virgin corporate stance, but by the end of 2012 Richard Branson's Virgin Group had only a small shareholding in the business of around 3%. The company also owned a small collection of cable channels for several years, including Living, Bravo and a 50% interest in the UKTV channel portfolio comprising Eden, Good Food, Dave and others. The wholly owned channels were sold to Sky in 2010; the UKTV stake to Scripps of the US. The business was wholly acquired in 2013 by John Malone's Liberty Global investment group for $23.3bn, but retains the Virgin Media name, using the Virgin brand under license. Neil Berkett stepped down as CEO following the Liberty Global buyout, with Tom Mockridge named as his successor. The group had 5.4m customers for its various services at the end of 2017, including 5.1m for broadband, 3.8m for cable TV and 3.0m for mobile. For more see the full Adbrands profile for Virgin Group. Virgin Media is the biggest business within Liberty Global, which also has cable subsidiaries in 11 other European markets including Germany (Unitymedia), Belgium (Telenet/BASE), the Netherlands (the Ziggo/Vodafone joint venture). Various other assets in Latin America were divested in 2017. Combined revenues were $18.4bn in 2015, with the UK accounting for $6.7bn. Adbrands does not currently offer a separate business profile for Virgin Media but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information for the company. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to Adbrands.net premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.
Capsule checked 13th March 2018
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Account assignments & selected contact information
Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets. Adbrands Weekly Update is a weekly summary of the latest news affecting leading advertisers and their advertising and marketing agencies.
Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th July 2018: Ads of the Week: "A Report of Unconnected Events". Movie and box set buffs will have lots of fun identifying the multitude of sly references in this spectacular short from director Mischa Rozema and prodco PostPanic. The client is cable giant Liberty Global, owner of several different cable TV operators in Europe including Virgin Media in the UK, Unitymedia in Germany, and UPC in Central & Eastern Europe, Austria and Switzerland. The idea is to celebrate Liberty's commitment to storytelling and original programming. The irony is: I don't know about you, but we at Adbrands can't think of a single notable original series actually created by Liberty. All the films or shows referenced here (that we recognised anyway) were commissioned elsewhere, even if they were shown on a Liberty strand. Oh well, quibbles aside, it's a stunning piece of work, worth every minute of the time spent watching it.
Adbrands Weekly Update 15th Mar 2018: Virgin Media's chief marketing officer Kerris Bright is to become chief customer officer at the BBC, a newly created role. BBC director-general Tony Hall said "Across the BBC we're working hard to reinvent the organisation for a new generation. Making sure the BBC of the future is uniquely tailored to everyone, and available when and where audiences want it, will be critical to our success. We're making good progress with over 12m people already signed in use the BBC iPlayer, but I want us to step up our efforts on personalisation in the months ahead. Kerris's appointment will help us be even more ambitious in this area."
Adbrands Weekly Update 7th July 2016: Ads of the Week: "Be The Fastest". If it didn't already say in the caption who this ad is really for, you'd be hard-pressed to guess until the final 3 seconds. All the better for that, though, and also for the absence of Richard Branson's grinning mug. Instead what BBH London delivers here is the best ad to-date for Jamaican track hero Usain Bolt, illustrating just how fast he is with a series of entertaining montages. Oh, and actual client Virgin Media gets a look-in at the end too, just for paying for the whole thing. It's a cracking return to form for BBH after what has otherwise been a bit of an under-par half-year.
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Nov 2015: John Malone's Liberty Global roll-up continued its worldwide acquisition strategy, snapping up all that remains of onetime telecoms giant Cable & Wireless for £3.5bn, or £5.4bn including assumed debt. The former communications pioneer - which built the first undersea transcontinental cable network and at its peak employed 54,000 people and had extensive cable and telecoms operations in the UK and across Asia - is now focused mainly on the Caribbean, with a few pockets of activity elsewhere. Liberty is already the world's biggest cable operator, with 27m customers across 14 countries in Europe and Latin America. Subsidiaries include Virgin Media in the UK and Ziggo in the Netherlands. C&W will add another 6m.
Adbrands Weekly Update 30th Sept 2015: Merger talks between mobile giant Vodafone and European cable company Liberty Global have ended without agreement, though observers believe a compelling case remains to combine the two. Though it remains strong in emerging markets such as India and South Africa, Vodafone is being squeezed steadily out of what was once a dominant position in Europe by consolidation among its rivals. There would be clear advantages to a merger with Liberty's cable businesses in the region, such as Virgin Media in the UK and Unitymedia in Germany. However, talks are said to have foundered on disagreements over a valuation of Liberty's businesses, all acquired at high prices and carrying large debt burdens.
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