Sky says best quarter for acquisition in 11 years is vindication of its content strategy ahead of quad play future
Sky secured 100,000 new broadband customers in the UK and Ireland during the third quarter of 2014, while strong demand for all of its services helped it to acquire 127,000 new users overall – its best quarterly performance for 11 years.
Since Sky consolidated its European operations into one group, the company does not offer detailed breakdowns of how many customers take which types of service. However it did reveal it has 11.5 million British and Irish customers overall, of which 5.5 million are estimated to be broadband customers.
Overall the Sky Group, which includes its businesses in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy, increased revenues by five percent to £8.5bn and operating profit by 20 percent to £1.025bn.
Sky attributed its strong results to its investments in content and the success of its online strategy, which includes movie downloads through Sky Store and streaming on NOW TV – the latter of which does not require a Sky TV subscription.
“We have delivered an excellent third quarter as customers across the enlarged Sky group respond to the quality and breadth of what we offer,” boasted Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive. “The UK and Ireland delivered a stand-out performance, reporting both the highest customer growth and lowest churn for eleven years. We took share in broadband and grew strongly in TV as our dual-brand strategy with NOW TV and Sky continues to deliver.”
Sky’s strength has traditionally been in satellite television but it has been looking to diversify its offering amid intense competition in the communications sector from the likes of BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk.
The Isleworth-based firm will start offering mobile services to customers from 2016 through a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement with O2 and is also working on a Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) joint-venture with CityFibre and TalkTalk in a bid to offer a competing broadband infrastructure to the BT Openreach fibre network.