Sky results show increase in subscribers

BSkyB has signed up 74,000 customers to its broadband internet service and an additional 82,000 subscribers to its TV services.

British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB), the satellite TV giant, has signed up 74,000 customers to its broadband internet service and an additional 82,000 subscribers to its TV services.

The broadcaster announced the figures in its results for the three months from July to September. It also announced a 17% fall in operating profits to £180m, which was attributed to the cost of setting up the broadband service. Its net income was also down from £140m to £116m despite an 11% increase in revenues to £1.07bn.

Sky also reported an increase in marketing costs from £22m in the same period last year to £161m, again driven largely by costs associated with its broadband offering and a growth in subscriber numbers.

Despite the dip in profits, the increase in subscribers takes the number of customers overall to 8.26 million. This represents its highest first-quarter growth in the group’s total number of subscribers for three years, outstripping consensus forecasts of 60,000.

It says that around 1 million subscribers have registered interest in the broadband offering with a further 35,000 customers registering to UK Online, the residential broadband serice that Sky acquired as part of Easynet Group earlier this year.

The broadcaster has committed an additional £400m over the next three years to develop its broadband offering. It launched into the market in a bid to defend its pay-TV business from the growing threat from cable giant NTL and internet TV services such as BT Group’s forthcoming Vision video-on-demand product.

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