One of the biggest TV and broadband providers in the UK, Virgin Media, is reorganising its business, and is going to cut roughly 900 jobs as a result.
It wasn’t disclosed exactly where in Virgin’s business the job cuts will be made, but the company said that the reorganisation, and subsequent investments in the business, will actually end up in a net gain in the number of jobs.
Right now, Virgin Media employs around 23,000 people, which the company says will increase to more than 25,000 by the end of this year, with another 1,000 jobs added in 2017. Of those workers, 13,600 are directly employed by Virgin Media.
“Over the past three years Virgin Media has been transformed,” said Tom Mockridge, the company’s chief executive. “We’re expanding, investing and growing our business. The proposed reorganisation will give us an even sharper focus on the customer, network expansion and business growth.”
The TV and broadband market is one of the most competitive areas of business with Virgin, BT, and Sky all providing package deals at cut prices to try and maintain market share.
In recent years, TV providers have also come under pressure from streaming services like Netflix, and devices like Google’s Chromecast and the Amazon Fire TV stick, which allow customers to watch TV on-demand, for a substantially lower price than cable and satelitte services.
As a result of this increased competition, Virgin has started to focus on providing super-fast broadband across the UK, letting BT and Sky fight over lucrative rights to show football, rugby, and cricket on their sports channels.
In June 2015, the company rolled out its so-called “Project Lightning” — a £3 billion ($4.28 billion) plan to extend Virgin’s cable network across the UK and give around 17 million people high speed internet connections. At the time, the company claimed that Project Lightning will be the biggest single investment in broadband infrastructure in more than a decade.
The job cuts come against a background of pretty good results. Last quarter,
Virgin Media reported its best growth since 2007, adding 42,000 customers, with revenues growing 4.5% to £1.1 billion ($1.57 billion).
Virgin Media was bought by American telecoms giant Liberty Global in 2013. Liberty claims to be the largest international cable company in the world, and is active in 14 different countries, largely in Europe, and has more than 27 million customers. Around 5 million of those customers are UK based.
In November, the company, which is owned by American billionaire John Malone, bought UK firm Cable and Wireless, for £3.5 billion ($4.99 billion).