Sky offers pay as you go Premier League

BSkyB is to offer non-subscribers access to Premier League football content as part of its expanding Sky Now internet TV service, an announcement that comes as the broadcaster reports better than expected financial performance.

Sky

Viewers can pay £9.99 to access unlimited sports programming for 24 hours through Sky Now, which launched last summer. It currently offers access to Sky Movies content and counts more than 25,000 subscribers.

It is the first time Sky has made its football content available in this way. Its monthly subscription packages including sports channels cost upwards of £40.

The news comes as Sky reports a 5 per cent increase in revenue to £3.5bn in the six months to 31 December. Operating profit increased 8 per cent to £647m. Average revenue per user (ARPU) increased £24 year on year to £568. The better than expected performance was driven by new products such as Sky Now, Sky Go and on-demand TV.

Investment in marketing was flat at £541m during the six month period as lower cost channels offset spend on campaigns for Sky+ and Now TV.

Sky is currently running a press ad campaign to promote its Sky Go Extra service that allows customers to download content to watch offline on mobile devices. The ad campaign targets commuters with the strapline: “Sky TV now showing on all trains”.

It registered 3.1 million users of Sky Go during the six month period, a 46 per cent rise year on year.

Jeremy Darroch, chief executive, says: “During the half, we have invested in providing the best service to our customers while continuing to drive greater operational efficiency. We strengthened our content offering, extended our leadership in customer technology and continued to lead the industry in customer service.

“As a result, more households are joining Sky, our existing customers are staying loyal and they are choosing to spend more with us. In particular, we have seen a strong response to new services like On Demand and Sky Go which increase customer satisfaction and loyalty and will provide important sources of future growth.”

Last week, Sky launched Free Thursdays, a sampling promotion offering free access to Sky programmes through Freeview on Thursday nights. The activity is intended to attract non-subscribers to its content.

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