Sky marketing spend set to reach £1bn in 2009/10

BSkyB’s marketing spend is on course to hit £1bn this year as the pay-TV company looks to build on a 76% bump in take up of its high definition television service.

SKY advert
SKY advert

The company spent £826m on marketing in the nine months to end of March, according to interim results, an increase of £286m on the £540m it spent in the first half of its financial year and up from £661m in the same period last year.

The broadcaster has marketed its HD service and combined TV, broadband and telephony package heavily in the period.

This compares to rival Virgin Media, which added a net total of 38,300 new households to its cable subscription base in the first quarter of the year, boosted by its £41m marketing spend.

Announcing results for the first three months of the year, BSkyB says: “Marketing costs were impacted by strong customer demand for HD throughout the period.”

The broadcaster, which operates the Sky 1 and Sky Sports channels, says there were 428,000 net additions to its HD service in the period, up 76% year on year.

The pay-TV firm reports it added 62,000 net new customers in the three months to the end of March, pushing it subscriber base to 9.7 million.

Jeremy Darroch, chief executive of Sky, says that the results show that its “financial performance is accelerating”.

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