BSkyB defies competition with strong TV customer growth
PAY-TV operator BSkyB added 74,000 net new TV customers in its third quarter, more than double the growth it recorded last year, as it shrugged off the competition from BT .
BSkyB, which provides pay-TV, broadband and telephony services, reported nine-month revenues up 7pc to £5.7bn, in line with forecasts, and earnings per share ahead of forecasts at 42.2 pence.
Operating profit fell by an expected 9pc because of the increasing cost of sports rights.
The addition of 74,000 new TV customers, on both the paid subscription package and cheaper online offering, was all the more impressive in the face of BT's ramped-up offering and marketing in sports TV.
The third quarter was marked by heavy promotion from Sky's rivals as both BT and Virgin Media pushed their broadband offerings. Faced with an increasingly aggressive BT, Sky has been seeking to broaden its appeal with increased content and services to tie in customers. Sky's marketing in the third quarter focused on its boxed-set and movie offerings.
"We have had a strong third quarter and continued to grow at an accelerated rate as customers respond to the quality and breadth of our offering," Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch said.
"We're now more than three quarters of the waythrough our plan for the year and are on track to deliver returns in line with our expectations."