Virgin Media ramps up VOD with new hire

UK’s Virgin Media has lured London-based Disney Interactive Media Group senior VP  of EMEA Cindy Rose over to take on the role of head of Virgin Media Television. Starting November 1, the pivotal role will include running Virgin’s video-on-demand service and overseeing the strategy for its linear channels.

Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett said, “Cindy has a wealth of experience and an exceptional understanding of the evolving digital landscape. I am delighted that someone of her considerable caliber is joining in such a key role and I look forward to working with her as we continue to develop our TV services.”

Rose effectively replaces Virgin Media head of content Malcolm Wall, who resigned in March. Jonathan Webb, executive director of Virgin Media TV, will remain at the company, working with Rose but reverting to his previous title of MD.

Virgin Media is in the process of selling its VMTV operation, with bidders include BSkyB and NBC Universal, while its 50% stake in UKTV is mooted to become part of a new JV between BBC Worldwide and Channel 4.

Virgin Media has been aggressively growing its VOD customer base with over 55% of its digital TV subscribers watching VOD in during the quarter to June this year.  Virgin recently reported that VOD usage climbed to an average 62 million  views per month, up from 55 million  per month at the start of the year.

Last month the cable company completed a network-wide upgrade project deploying DOCSIS 3.0 technology across its entire infrastructure. The upgrade increased consumer broadband speed to up to 50Mbps, of which over twelve million homes now have access to.  Meanwhile Virgin Media announced last week that it was planning to its VOD service mobile.