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BSkyB beats forecasts

Not for the first time has BSkyB under-promised and over-delivered in terms of its financials, and this half-year (to December 31st) was no exception. BSkyB reported that operating profits were up 8 per cent to £647 million (€799m), and better than anticipated. The broadcaster also added 88,000 net new subscribers, again well ahead of expectations for the pre-Christmas period.

Sky’s total TV subscriber base is now 10.74 million, up 271,000 on a year ago, however it now commands a massive 29.4 million overall Revenue Generating Units which embrace TV, telephony and broadband subscriptions. Indeed, Sky’s triple-play offering is now taken by 33 per cent of the core subscriber base, up 4 percentage points Y-O-Y. ARPU stands at a record £568, up £24 Y-O-Y.

Sky’s NOW TV OTT strategy is also growing fast, with on demand downloads up 150 per cent Y-O-Y. However, overall churn is up somewhat from an annualised 9.6 per cent a year ago to 10.3 per cent as at December 31st.

Along with the results came a flurry of fresh announcements, not least a new and exclusive output deal with Sony Pictures guaranteeing Sky viewers get access to movies such as the latest Spiderman movie, Men in Black 3 and Sony’s upcoming output. The movies will be exclusive to Sky for a period of one year after they have screened on Sky’s movie channels. Sony’s current – and classic – output will also be available on Sky’s NOW TV OTT service. The deal extends to Sky viewers using third-party distributors such as Virgin Media, UPC and Talk Talk.

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