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UPC Ireland

UPC Communications Ireland Limited
Private company limited by shares
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 12 December 2005
Headquarters Dublin, Ireland
Area served
Key people
Magnus Ternsjö (CEO)
Dana Strong (Chairman)
Products Cable television
Broadband Internet
Revenue $468.8 million[1]
Owner UPC Broadband
Parent Liberty Global
Divisions UPC Ireland

UPC Ireland is Liberty Global Europe's telecommunications operation in Ireland. UPC Ireland is the largest digital cable television provider within Ireland. As of 31 December 2014, the company offers broadband internet, digital television and digital (VoIP) telephony to 1.1 million customers.[1] UPC Ireland previously traded under the branding Chorus NTL until 4 May 2010.[2] It is primarily in competition with Sky Ireland and Magnet Networks in the Irish pay TV market[3]

UPC Ireland is owned by Liberty Global Europe and operated through its subsidiary UPC Broadband. UPC Broadband operates in nine other European countries including Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Poland and the Netherlands.

UPC Ireland Products

UPC Ireland focuses on three key areas; cable television, broadband and telephone. The company offers broadband internet services using the EuroDOCSIS 3.0 standard as well as a VoIP-based telephone service using PacketCable. In addition, UPC Ireland offers to business customers a complete range of telecommunications solutions from standard voice and internet services to more advanced services such as Ethernet LAN extensions, corporate voice services, and high-speed internet. These services are offered to large corporations, public organisations, and small to medium size businesses in Ireland, primarily in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford.


In May 2010, UPC Ireland announced plans for a 100Mbit/s broadband service which would be offered to home users across its broadband-capable network in the coming months.[4] In December 2010 UPC launched its 100Mb Fibre Power Broadband package, making it the fastest ISP for residential customers in Ireland at the time. In September 2012, UPC increased the maximum speed available to residential customers to 150Mb, while increasing their entry-level speed to 50Mb.[5] UPC now offer a 240Mbit/s speed


The main product offered by UPC's is cable and MMDS ("wireless cable") television services, in analogue, and SD and HD digital formats, using DVB-C encrypted using Nagravision. While regions formerly part of NTL has switched off its analogue MMDS, some ex-Chorus MMDS areas have yet to do so. Digital is now available in the vast majority of areas, with the Cork cable network becoming the first in Ireland to become digital-only.

On 14 August 2007, UPC launched a Personal Video Recorder, the UPC Mediabox, marketed as the Digital+ or Digital+HD Box in ex-NTL areas, subsequently rolled out to other areas.

On 5 August 2009 UPC launched its HDTV service in Ireland, which includes many international and regional television broadcasters.

In April 2013, UPC launched their Horizon TV service, which allows UPC customers to watch a selection of television channels from various internet enabled devices using their UPC broadband connection.[6]

On 12 August 2013, UPC launched their Horizon HD+ set-top box.[7] This box offers HD as standard and consolidates all services (TV, broadband and home phone) into one device. It also allows customers to record 4 television programmes while watching a 5th.

UPC On-Demand TV

On 25 May 2012 UPC Ireland launched its UPC On-Demand TV service in Ireland,[8] with a full roll-out expected to be complete by September.[9] A similar service had already been rolled out to UPC customers in the Netherlands, Hungary, Switzerland, Poland and Austria.

The service provides all customers with unlimited access to RTÉ player and 3Player, with TG4 Player set to follow suit.[10] Max and Select Extra package customers are also able to watch BBC, ITV and US box sets and additional content from the likes of Discovery Channel, Food Network, FX, History, MGM and True Movies. The video on demand service also allows customers in Ireland to watch classic movies and the latest cinematic releases.[11]


Liberty Global and its predecessors UGC Europe and Tele-Communications Inc. have had shareholdings in Chorus Communications and its predecessor, Princes Holdings (Irish Multichannel), since the company's formation in the early 1990s. Originally a joint venture with Independent News and Media, IN&M sold its shares to Liberty in 2004.

In May 2005, NTL agreed to sell its Irish operations NTL Ireland (previously Cablelink) to Liberty Global. Morgan Stanley held the shareholding until Competition Authority approval was obtained. This occurred in December 2005 and UPC Ireland came into being on 12 December 2005.

Integration of NTL and Chorus

  • In 2006, UPC Ireland began to integrate the brands Chorus and NTL to form Chorus NTL.
  • Branding wise, on 5 September 2006 NTL's website was changed to the same design as Chorus i.e., itself based on UPC Netherlands' website design at the time. 25 January 2007, NTL Ireland updated the electronic programme guide software to remove the NTL logo and all mention of the NTL name. However the UPC name has not replaced it, the areas which contained the NTL logo simply having been left blank. The colour scheme is still NTL's.
  • On 31 January 2007, NTL and Chorus began advertising jointly, although the adverts were simply the ongoing campaign from NTL with the Chorus logo added to them. On 4 June 2007 e-mail addresses switched to[12] The new UPC Mediabox set top boxes (STBs) which contain a hardrive based digital video recording system are fully UPC branded (albeit with the original UPC logo rather than the current lowercase design) and come with a much enhanced EPG. These are being rolled out on both the ex NTL and Chorus cable networks. From 2008, the old Pace STBs supplied by NTL Ireland (and originally designed for NTL UK) are being replaced with new Pace STBs designed for UPC, also branded "UPC Mediabox" but without the hard drive/recording capabilities.
  • In a Sunday Business Post article on 11 February 2007, UPC Ireland's marketing manager revealed that the rebrand was due to take place no later than May 2007. This did not occur, although the continuing ownership by Virgin Media of the NTL brand means that it is likely to occur in the near future. On 16 May 2007 UPC Netherlands introduced a new UPC logo, which is due to be rolled out across UPC's European subsidiaries. It is likely that this will replace the Chorus and NTL logos. From July 2007, all UPC advertising began bearing a composite logo reading "Chorus NTL – a UPC company".
  • On 10 June 2007 UPC announced its takeover of one of the remaining small Irish operators, Clane Cable Systems. This will give it an extra 2000 customers. The network will be run as part of NTL Ireland.
  • During late September and early October 2007, Chorus and NTL included a leaflet with their bills explaining that a rebrand would occur on 21 October. That did not happen, however, on 30 October 2007, the NTL Ireland and Chorus websites were merged into a single website, although the composite Chorus NTL logo is used on it rather than the UPC logo. In November 2007, NTL Business was rebranded UPC Business, making it the first part of the company to officially adopt the UPC name.
  • On 29 April 2008 UPC's former Cork Communications cable network, latterly part of Chorus, became the first cable network in the Ireland to switch to digital, with the analogue signal (except for the Irish terrestrial channels) switched off.[13]
  • On 4 May 2010 UPC began a €3 million spend on rebranding, completing the change from Chorus:NTL to the UPC brand. A high-profile media campaign – fronted by broadcaster Craig Doyle – was planned to run for 3 months. It also lit up a number of buildings in Dublin (including Busáras and Boland's Mill), Galway and Cork.[14]
  • UPC had received the final approvals to acquire assets from broadband rival Broadworks, which was in liquidation. This will give it access to about 6,600 homes in west Dublin and Meath. The Competition Authority cleared the deal on 21 April 2010.[15]


UPC Ireland Subscriptions
Date Digital TV Other TV Broadband Phone Total Unique Customers
2009[16] 276,900 153,600 148,100 60,400 639,000
2010[17] 381,000 199,200 785,000
2011[18] 386,400 255,400 886,400
2012[19] 383,200 63,200 304,300 238,000 988,700
2013[20] 338,300 89,900 338,300 293,500 1,060,000 533,000


  1. ^ a b "About Us - Europe - Our Operations - Poland - Liberty Global". Liberty Global. Retrieved 2015-05-27. 
  2. ^ Ciaran Hancock (4 May 2010). "UPC to spend €3m on rebranding". Irish Times. Retrieved 2 February 2011. 
  3. ^ Quarterly Key Data Report (PDF), ComReg, 21 December 2009, p. 70, retrieved 17 April 2011 
  4. ^ "UPC launches 100Mb broadband". RTÉ.ie. 4 May 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "UPC launches 50Mbps entry-level broadband". 7 September 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 
  6. ^ title=UPC plans a summer spectacular of new products starting with a unique new Irish horizon TV app & Horizon TV Online service |url=
  7. ^ "UPC unveils a New Horizon for Irish TV". 12 August 2013.
  8. ^ O'Brian, Ciaran; Taylor, Charlie (22 May 2012). "UPC to offer on-demand services". The Irish Times. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Weckler, Adrian (22 May 2012). "UPC movies-on-demand: what, where, how much". The Sunday Business Post. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Kennedy, John (22 May 2012). "UPC to launch on-demand TV and movies services this Friday". Silicon Republic. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Webb, Nick (14 February 2010). "UPC to launch 'movies on demand'". Irish Independent. 
  12. ^ "Migration FAQs" (PDF). UPC Ireland. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ Ciaran Hancock (4 May 2010). "UPC to spend €3m on rebranding". Irish Times. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  15. ^ "UPC to spend €3m on rebranding". The Irish Times. 5 May 2010. 
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