Sky records surprise uptick in TV customers

UK pay TV operator BSkyB said that it added 74,000 new TV customers in the three months ending March 31, more than double the growth that it experienced in the same quarter last year.

Announcing its fiscal third quarter results, Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said that Sky had a strong quarter and “continued to grow at an accelerated rate,” following concerns this week from analysts at Berenberg and Credit Suisse that it would suffer a decline in traditional pay TV subscribers for the first time.

Sky said that it added 74,000 net new TV customers and108,000 net new HD customers. It also recorded 284,000 new Sky Go Extra customers and said that 3.7 million customers now use its online offering Sky Go, up 13% year-on-year.

On-demand usage tripled year-on-year, said Sky, and now accounts for more than 5% of viewing in connected Sky homes. On average, each connected home downloaded three pieces of content per week.

“Our investment in connected TV services is delivering results. Almost 50% of Sky homes are now connected and this is transforming their viewing experience: connected customers are watching more TV, they’re more loyal and they’re more likely to recommend Sky,” said Darroch.

“Nine months into our plans for the year, we have added almost a third more new paid-for subscription products than in the same period last year,” he added.

Sky said that its connected TV base is now 5 million, having connected 600,000 more Sky+HD boxes in the quarter.

In total, the firm claimed that it added 2.4 million new paid-for subscription products in the nine months since 30 June 2013, 31% more than the same period last year.

Sky said that its adjusted Q3 revenue increased by 7% year-on-year to £5.666 billion. Adjusted EBITDA was down 2.4% to £1.233 billion, which Sky was a “good result” considering its connected services investment and an uplift in Premier League amortisation.