French cable operator Numericable saw its net profit for the first quarter rise by almost half thanks to growth in subscribers and lower debt charges. Numericable added 70,000 subscribers in the year to March, representing growth of 4.3%. Multi-play customers were up 5.6%, while TV-only customers dropped by 15%. ARPU grew by 2.7% to €42.10.Numericable posted a profit of €35 million, up 48%, on revenues of €327.6 million, up 1%. Residential revenues grw3 by 1.8% to €219.2 million.The company confirmed its objectives for the next two years of growing revenue by between 2% and 5%, with an EBITDA margin target of 50% by 2016.Numericable also said it expected its acquisition of SFR to close by the end of the year.
Arts Council England and technology innovation centre Digital Catapult have launched a new programme that will see VR and AR content makers pitch to the BBC and Google.Virtual, augmented and mixed reality content creators can apply to get support and funding through the CreativeXR scheme, with up to 20 companies to be supported by the project.Successful applicants will be offered workshops with industry leaders to support the development of their concepts. They will also get access to Digital Catapult Immersive Labs and up to ￡20,000 of funding to develop their immersive prototypes.In the New Year CreativeXR teams will pitch their work at a final commissioner showcase, attended by partners including Google and the BBC.“The potential of AR and VR to enhance our experience of a story and elicit emotion needs to be exploited,” said Aurelien Simon, head of immersive at Digital Catapult.“With CreativeXR, we want to give content creators and innovators the support, space, technology and funding that they need to develop their prototype ideas. Doing so will provide audiences with better, multi-faceted experiences, while supporting the UK in gaining a greater share of the lucrative global immersive market.”CreativeXR is calling for submissions to focus on “creative, consumer-facing experiences enabled by immersive technologies”. These can include artistic pieces, cultural experiences, new forms of fiction or non-fiction storytelling, and new forms of interactive entertainment.The deadline for entrants is November 2 and interested parties can apply online through the CreativeXR website.