Branislav Pekic from Rome
With 4.2 million subscribers, equal to a potential audience of 14 million TV viewers, Sky Italia is now aiming to grow at a rate of 500,000 new subscribers a year. Speaking on the margins of the presentation of the 2007-2008programme schedule in Milan, Sky Italia CEO Tom Mockridge said that there is space for growth on the Italian market for many broadcasters. He said in 2006 the advertising revenues of the satellite platform grew between 30 per cent and 40 per cent and he expects similar percentages in 2008. On the profit front, Sky Italia registered a growth from $39 million last year to $221 million in 2007. However, according to Mockridge, revenues are only 7 per cent, “a percentage which is still low, so our mission is to increase revenues and profit by investing in programs and people”.
Sky Italia has announced an ambitious investment plan to the tune of E1.4 billion a year, half of which for the acquisition of TV rights for major sports events. In order to further increase advertising revenue, Sky Italia will launch three new channels by Christmas. Mockridge said that it is also possible that the Italian DTH platform will also carry the Fox Business Channel, a channel that Fox and Dow Jones are preparing to launch in the U.S. Finally, the company is also building its new headquarters in Santa Giulia near Milan, which should be completed by September 2008.