Subscription rates for i-Cable Communications have risen sharply due to its broadcasting of the Euro 2004 football championship and signal digitalisation. I-Cable chairman Stephen Ng Tin-hoi said the company had a customer base of 670,000 pay-television subscribers, with up to 1,000 people signing for the service each day. I-Cable switched its transmission code just before midnight on Saturday. The move foiled unauthorised decoders and forced many viewers wanting to watch games from the championships being played in Portugal to open accounts with the company. Speaking after a press conference for fixed-line operator Wharf T&T's launch of a video conferencing service, Mr Ng said i-Cable's decision to raise subscription rates by $10 a month from next month was not a reaction to decreased market competition. 'We never intended to enter the price war,' he said. Mr Ng expects the service's churn rate to rise slightly after the price increase comes into effect. The churn rate rose slightly after a price increase in 2001. Originally hovering near 1.4 per cent to 1.5 per cent, the figure rose to 1.6 per cent to 1.7 per cent but then dropped back after two months. Mr Ng was bullish on i-Cable's prospects. 'Volume has been growing, and despite whatever impression you may be getting about the competitive nature of the market, we're holding up our average revenue per user,' he said.