Since Sky Television launched its first handful of channels in February 1989, the broadcaster had stayed true to emphasising its growth via its quarterly DTH subscriber numbers. That’s about to change.
On May 2nd when CEO Jeremy Darroch unveils BSkyB’s latest quarterly results, the DTH numbers will be merged with its ‘NOW TV’ numbers and a single ‘Customer Number’ will be used. NOW TV is Sky’s pay-as-you-go movies and sport service which while perfectly appealing to many viewers has no monthly subscription obligation. One well-regarded analyst, Sarah Simon of Berenberg Bank, stated “We believe that, even if the rationale behind it is understandable, the market may not welcome this change in reporting, which reduces clarity on operating progress.”
In fact the change in reporting has a significant knock-on effect down the line, as it will now make life much more difficult for the market when attempting to analyse ARPU and Churn numbers with historical data. “This is because in future a customer who churns off DTH but moves to NOW TV will not count as churn. Meanwhile, ARPU on the NOW TV service is much lower than DTH, as noted above. For the moment, there will be so few NOW TV subs relative to DTH, the figures will not be substantially affected, but this is worth bearing in mind going forward,” says Simon.