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Following the very public spat with BSkyB, Virgin Media have announced a loss of 46,900 customers within the first three months of the year.

Virgin Media who rebranded after a merger between NTL/Telewest and Virgin.net, stated that only 184,300 customers had signed up in the first quarter compared to the previous 3 months. Virgin Media now has more than 3.41 million broadband customers in the UK, but the loss of customers and reduction in new sign-ups is a real worry.

Virgin Media said “Intense publicity surrounding the channels' withdrawal caused customer confusion and affected the acquisition of new subscribers.” Virgin Media will not announce how many customers have actually left the service until later this year, so until then the real impact of the Virgin Media/Sky spat will be unknown.

Steve Burch, Chief Executive at Virgin Media commented “Any company that takes channels off the air is going to take a hit, but if you look at the cost of what they were asking and the competitive issues, it's really the only decision we could make… We're not being cavalier about it, but we're comfortable that we made the right decision for the business and we believe that in the long term we made the right decision for the customer."

Virgin Media have since launched legal action at the High Court against BSkyB.

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