LONDON: Virgin Media's debt rating has been downgraded from "stable" to "negative" by credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service - just as the struggling UK cable firm unveiled plans to roll-out its less-than-fizzing brand across Europe.

Moody's cited Virgin's recent net loss of 70,300 subscribers as the main reason for its decision. Other factors were the ongoing dispute with BSkyB and a dip in group revenues.

The rating agency said it doesn't expect VM to move into positive net subscriber additions this year, adding that it continues to perform below post-merger expectations

  • Meantime, Virgin Group - a minority shareholder in Virgin Media - announced it is in discussion with French cable operator Numéricable, the nation's largest with nine million households, about a deal to rebrand its service under the Virgin Media name.

    The company also claims that similar Virgin Media licensing deals are expected to follow in other European markets.

    Data sourced from multiple origins; additional content by WARC staff