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The past few weeks have been mostly doom and gloom as analysts predicted miserable results from UK pay-TV supplier BSkyB. The actual results were not at all bad. Net new TV subs were up 74,000 during the quarter-year to March 31st, for example, to 10.61 million. Net new HD connections were up 108,000, to 5.1 million. Sky Go Extra subscribers grew 284,000 and taking the y-o-y total to 927,000.
All of Sky’s other key subscriber metrics were also in positive territory, with broadband (+70,000), telephony (+103,000) and line rental (+113,000). It is certainly fair to say that growth has slowed and this is indicated by the flat-lining 0.1 percent quarterly increase in the number of paid-for products taken by retail customers (now 3 items per client, up y-o-y from 2.8). ARPU was up £1 for the quarter to £571 while Churn worsened slightly y-o-y from 10.8% to 10.9%. The overall growth in total products and services (y-o-y) expanded from 35.7 million to 42.7 million.
CEO Jeremy Darroch told analysts that at the nine-month mark “We have added almost a third more new paid-for subscription products than in the same period last year. Our investment in connected TV services is delivering results. Almost 50 per cent of Sky homes are now connected and this is transforming their viewing experience: connected customers are watching more TV, they’re more loyal and they’re more likely to recommend Sky. Our expanded Box Sets service has been particularly popular with a fourfold increase in viewing of top titles like 24 and Game of Thrones.”
“We are making good progress in developing new revenue streams. Our targeted advertising service, AdSmart, is attracting many new advertisers to Sky while our new Buy & Keep service in Sky Store opens up the DVD purchase marketplace for the first time.”
Darroch also announced a renewal of its exclusive output deal with Paramount Pictures.