Sky closes in on 10m subs

Satellite broadcaster BSKyB’s first quarter results reveal it is fast approaching the 10 million subscriber mark, reporting net customer growth of 96,000 to reach 9.956 million households by the end of September 2010.

It also reported Q1 net product growth of 989,000, up 12 per cent on the prior year. 2.3 million customers are now taking all three of TV, broadband and telephony, up by 39 per cent, with broadband growth also accelerating, with 178,000 net additions. Further good growth was maintained in HD, with net additions of 215,000 to reach 3.2 million customers. Revenue was up 15 per cent to £1.526 billion, while operating profit rose 25 per cent to £255 million.

According to Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive, the results showed that BSkyB’s consistent strategy was delivering an excellent performance in a challenging environment, with strong top-line growth converting to accelerating profit and earnings.

Darroch took the opportunity to criticise the BBC licence settlement and YouView. He said “I understand why the government thinks the BBC has got to do its fair share in the cuts coming through. However questions remain about (the BBC’s) footprint, scope and where public money should be spent.”

On YouView: “We expressed our views to Ofcom – we have two broad concerns about YouView or Canvas, as it was known; with leading broadcasters and ISPs in a consortium there is a risk of stifling choice and there is also the inappropriate use of public money (by the BBC).”

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