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Sky boasts strong digital gains

UK pay TV platform BSkyB reported a surge in digital growth with a more people connecting their TV boxes to the web and using its Sky Go service than ever before.

DarrochIn its quarterly earnings report, Sky said that an average of 45,000 customers connected their Sky box to broadband each week during the first three months of 2013, and that, in total, more than 2.3 million Sky customers have now connected their Sky boxes to the internet, compared to just 600,000 a year ago.

This helped lead to a fivefold increase in on-demand downloads and 37% growth in movie rentals against last year, Sky said.

It added that its on-demand and multiscreen viewing app Sky Go also notched up an extra 196,000 unique users during the quarter, taking the total to 3.3 million. Sky Go Extra, which lets users download content so they can access it without a Wi-Fi connection also attracted 44,000 customers.

However, it did not reveal figures for its Now TV OTT service, which it launched last year and now offers Sky Movies and Sky Sports content.

The figures came against a modest 30,000 growth in new TV subscribers, which now stands at 10.38 million. However, Sky did add 108,000 HD customers in the quarter.

Taking into account its broadband and phone offerings, Sky said it added 715,000 new subscription products in the three months to 31 March, 2013. This took the total base of paid-for subscription products to 30.2 million, up 9% year on year.

“We have had a good third quarter and our multi-product strategy is delivering strong results. Increased take-up across our product set led to another improvement in financial performance with growth in revenues and profits accelerating in the third quarter,” said Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch (above).

“These results highlight the way that our successful transition to more broadly-based growth has created a bigger, more profitable business. And having more ways to grow serves us particularly well at a time when household budgets look likely to remain stretched.”

Sky said that revenues for the nine months to March 31 were £5.38 billion (US$8.37 billion), up 6% year-on-year, while adjusted operating profit for the period was £994 million, up 9%.