U.K. Pay-TV Operator BSkyB Reports Stronger Subscriber Gains Than Previous Year
U.K. pay-TV operator BSkyB on Thursday reported "stronger TV subscriber gains than in the year-ago period," according to Georg Szalai of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. Earnings "were affected by higher sports programming costs," particularly from a new deal for rights to English Premier League football matches whose price tag increased by 40%, and investments in new services. However, subscriber growth remained solid despite increasing competition from telecom giant BT, "which recently launched a portfolio of sports networks that have aggressively bid for sports rights." The company signed up 37,000 net new TV subscribers in the latest quarter, "compared with 20,000 in the same period" of '12. BSkyB on Thursday also reported that "it added 111,000 broadband users in the quarter, up from 102,000 in the year-ago period." That meant that "the firm's total broadband user base crossed the 5 million milestone" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 10/16). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's Mark Baber wrote average revenue per user, "a key measure" of whether the product is right, continued to grow, increasing by £17 ($27) to reach £599 ($967), a 3% growth over the previous year. The largest driver of higher ARPU "was the greater average number of products taken by customers." Auditor JP Morgan said, "With all the negative sentiment around potential BT Sport competition and its potential impact on BSkyB broadband net adds, we think the market will be comforted today by the better-than-expected broadband growth" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 10/18).