Once again Sky Deutschland has outperformed the market’s expectations in its first quarter results to March 31st. The pay-TV broadcaster delivered 64,000 new subscribers (taking the overall total to 3.73 million), well ahead of last year’s Q1 of 42,000. Quarterly churn has been slashed from last year’s 11.3 per cent to 8.8 per cent, while annualised churn has fallen from 12 per cent to 10.6 per cent. Back in Q1/2011 churn was 13.8 percent.
In all its other key metrics Sky Deutschland has performed well with revenue up 16 per cent y-o-y by €57 million to €421 million, while ARPU is also up €1,43 per month to €34.58.
The broadcaster’s Sky+ customers grew 96,000 to 1.576 million, while premium HD subs grew 80,000 to 2.106 million. Sky’s OTT service (Sky Go) saw an extra 58 per cent sessions to 24 million y-o-y. Sky’s HD service now offers 88 dedicated HDTV channels. Sky Deutschland’s wholesale subscribers more than doubled during the past year, from 125,000 to 258,000.
CEO Brian Sullivan told investors that the company’s Fiscal Year would now run from July 1st (to match Rupert Murdoch’s other 21st Century Fox businesses). “The current year, which began January 1st will finish on June 30th 2014 as a 6-month short fiscal year. The 2014/15 fiscal year will begin on 1st July 2014, and run to 30th June 2015,” said a company statement.
Sullivan maintained the company’s guidance for this calendar year, saying that it was targeting 400,000-450,000 net new subscribers. “We had a strong start to 2014. Never before has Sky seen higher levels of customer loyalty. With solid gross additions, churn rates at record lows and a steadily growing number of customers across all product categories, we have clearly shown the increasing appeal of our outstanding entertainment offering. And with the fantastic response we have seen since making our market leading Sky Go over-the-top service free for all Sky customers, we expect this trend to continue. Whether you want to watch blockbusters a year before they air on free TV or other online services, premieres of the world’s finest drama series, or of course the best in live football, Formula 1, golf and tennis, Sky is the clear market leader across all platforms and genres. No other provider in Germany and Austria comes even close to the exclusivity and quality of our service.”
The company again referred to Ultra-HD, saying “At the recent Bundesliga match between FC Bayern München and SV Werder Bremen, Sky conducted the world’s first live broadcast of a football match over satellite in Ultra-HD at a refresh rate of 50 frames per second and using the new HEVC coding standard (High Efficiency Video Coding). By successfully broadcasting a complete live Bundesliga match in what was a true end-to-end test of the full Ultra-HD production chain, Sky is on track to revolutionising our customers’ viewing experience.”