Sky Deutschland expects 450,000 new subs this year
April 14, 2014
By Chris Forrester
Sky Deutschland’s CFO Steven Tomsic has firmly rebutted the broadcaster’s doomsayers who are talking down the company’s prospects. In 2013 Sky Deutschland added a net 304,000 new subscribers. Tomsic was speaking at the company’s AGM.
The AGM also heard some shareholder grumbles about CEO Brian Sullivan’s overall salary + bonus package (€6 million). The AGM also confirmed the appointments of James Murdoch and Marcus Tellenbach to the Supervisory Board.
Tomsic’s forecasts match those being delivered by the professional analysts, most of which believe the recent 20+ per cent (year-to-date) share price fall has been “overdone” as Morgan Stanley put it in a note to clients. Indeed, Morgan Stanley’s own numbers suggest a net subs growth of 415,000-425,000, which suggests they have another 25,000 in head room to add to Sky-D’s expectations.
The bank’s report says Sky-D’s prospects (helped by migration of Liga total adds, lower churn, the exclusivity on the Bundesliga and marketing initiatives including the use of pop up Skylabs in shopping centres) are all pointing in the right direction.
“Sky-D is confident that underlying demand for ‘full fat’ pay TV services is growing in Germany. The ‘interest in pay TV ‘ and ‘intention to buy pay TV’ indicators in its market research have strengthened considerably in recent months and entered 2014 at a much higher rate. Sky is getting strong recommendation levels, particularly from customers using SkyGo and Sky Plus,” adds the bank.
Looking beyond this year, the bank says that Sky-D is upbeat. “The headwind in that year will be the absence of the 70k-80k Liga total! migrants. On the positive side 2015 will have a full year benefit from the two year contracts which are reducing churn, lower underlying churn from the absence of telesales and the continued benefit of Bundesliga and Champions’ League exclusivity. CEO Brian Sullivan has commented ‘we expect another strong growth year in 2015’. Commenting on the 24 month contracts he pointed out ‘this is one of the reasons we are so confident on 2015 growth as well’.
Sky Deutschland’s Q1 numbers will be released on May 7th.