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Sky just shy of 10 million customers
Thursday 29 July 2010 14:31:51 by John Hunt

One in five Sky customers now take TV, broadband and telephony, a rise of 36% on last years figures according to the latest financial results from Sky. This has boosted the average revenue per user to £508 a year, up 9% over the previous year. Overall, a net growth of 90,000 customers brought the company to a total subscriber base of 9.86 million, just shy of the 10 million milestone. Adjusted revenue was up 11% to £5,912 million with adjusted operating profit up 10% to £855 million.

Strong demand has continued for Sky+HD from new and existing customers with 30% of these opting for the high-definition product. 429,000 new HD customers were added in the quarter, giving a 12 month growth of 1.6 million. The company now airs 43 high-definition channels with plans to reach 50 by the end of 2010. 3D will follow later in 2010 with the company expecting to launch the Sky 3D channel to consumers on the 1st of October following the success of a 3D launch to commercial customers.

Sky's broadband and telephony products became profitable for the first time this quarter following the completion of the roll-out of the fully unbundled network (LLU). 119,000 broadband customers were added pushing the on-net total to 883,000 customers of the 2.62 million broadband customers. Telephony customers rose by 137,000, a smaller increase than the same quarter last year pushing the total telephony customers to 2.37 million.

"We've had another good quarter to bring our financial year to a strong close. Customers are choosing Sky in ever greater numbers, not just for TV but across our entire product range.

High definition goes from strength to strength, with more than twice as many customers as a year ago. At the same time, customers are choosing broader bundles of services, with one in five now taking all three of TV, broadband and telephony. Overall, customers are taking 45% more additional subscription products than a year ago.

Strong customer demand is increasingly reflected in our financial results, with double- digit growth in each of revenue, operating profit and cash flow. Earnings per share are up 20% to a record 31.1p and we are proposing a further 10% increase in the full year dividend, which has now doubled over the last five years.

Today we're announcing new plans to bring even more standout content to customers. A multi-year partnership will make Sky the exclusive home of new HBO programming and we're looking forward to a new slate of original UK comedy on Sky1 HD and the launch of 3D TV to residential customers on 1 October. The recent acquisition of the Living TV Group will help us to broaden our entertainment offering still further in the future.

It has been a good year for Sky but we stay focused on the challenge ahead. The economic outlook remains uncertain and, against that backdrop, we'll pursue the consistent set of priorities that have served us well so far. Executing on these plans will build a larger, more profitable business for the long term."

Jeremy Darroch, (Chief Executive) BSkyB


Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
..and unlike VM, Sky generate something called a 'profit'. Probably why VM sold its TV channels to Sky.
Posted by zyborg47 over 7 years ago
thankfully, no money will come from me. not going back with Sky, full of repeats and junk, but it seems the British public loves paying sky high prices for junk and repeats
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote".......the British public loves paying sky high prices for junk and repeats"

Thats why the Tv license was invented :D
Posted by TheGuv over 7 years ago
Sky have a cracking business model and have to be admired for how they have built their business. They are in a strong position to keep growing but.....

If Sky are forced into regulated pricing for all their Sports/Movie channels it will be interesting to see how many people value the basic £18 package that gives them Sky1 plus a load of junk channels. The launch of Sky Sports 1/2 on Freeview will be the first indicator of how Sky "may" be impacted.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago

Well...did forced socialism work well for BT?
Posted by New_Londoner over 7 years ago
The start of the football season will be a key period for Sky. Interesting to see what attrition there is, and whether customers to move over to BT and others in the search for a better priced option.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
I have no love for Sky... price increases year on year, constant pestering to add movies and sports to my package (how many no's is enough) but I do love Sky+ its just the best. And I'd upgrade to Sky HD if they dropped that stupid tenner charge a month for the recording like they had when Sky+ came out.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
Sky is okay. Personally I don't get pestered to subscribe to anything more than I already do. The additional £10pcm is actually going to become more meaningful from September as the HD pack will be aligned with your SD packages.

It doesn't have much impact on me but will finally mean that the £1 I pay for the knowledge pack is actually useful. Without you'll lose access to half the HD channels.
Posted by AndrueC over 7 years ago
(cont'd)but before I cast judgement on the HD charge I'd want to see the costings. The fact is that Sky's HD offering is the best available in the UK and I'm thinking it can't be a coincidence that they are the only ones who charge.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
It might sound a bit daft but I'm not that interested in the HD channels on offer most of them are movies I think (the last time I looked) and I wouldn't take the movie package anyway. Basically I would like to keep my package as it is now on Sky+ but replace it with a HD box with more disk space etc but I don't want to pay any more per month, I would have no issue with paying a one off charge for the box/install though.
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
can't you just put a bigger drive in it GMAN99 ? Google suggests it is fairly common.

I won't be needing HD until I make the mistake of getting a TV with a screen so big that the useful dots are too far apart and hence a higher resolution is needed to fill the gaps.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Yeah I could but its a bit of and old box now anyway so I could do with an upgrade I mean I can't even use that Sky anytime feature
Posted by catterbutts over 7 years ago
The best thing the regulators could do is force Sky to unbundle their products:

a) I am only interested in Rugby and Test Cricket, but am forced to subsidise the great unwashed who watch Sky1 and the dross on the myriad of other channels.

b) As we don't live in a high density conurbation, we will never be able to take advantage of Sky's 'Free' broadband etc. LLU must be a significant cost to Sky - so yet again my subscription is subsidising the townies.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"The best thing the regulators could do is force Sky to unbundle their products:"

Yeah just like the have BT Vision and BT FTTC........ Oh opps hang on!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Rugby you can watch online via a number of services, cricket you can listen to on the radio... If you dont like sky dont pay for it.
Posted by Dixinormous over 7 years ago
The LLU is roughly cost neutral. The Connect product has always been loss making and continues to be so.
Posted by catterbutts over 7 years ago
@Dixinormous The point about the Sky LLU is that it is offered at nil cost to some Sky customers, but must be costing Sky a significant amount - hence those Sky customers that are not offered free broadband are subsidising those that are fortunate enough to get it.
Posted by catterbutts over 7 years ago

@CARPETBURN You misunderstood the point - Sky should unbundle *their* offerings. I would quite happily pay for Sports1 & Sports2 (tho not sure why a particular sport has to be spread across two feeds) but object to being forced to pay for Sky1 and all the other dross.
The BT Sky Sports offering might be an option one day - if Freeview ever reaches darkest Worcestershire.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
^^^ I dont watch BBC One but i still have to pay the license fee..... BT vision is only an option if you want BT broadband you have to take it to have BT Vision. So shouldnt that TV service also be unbundled?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Whichever TV service you take theres always going to be something people individually dont want from the fees they have to pay
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
BT Vision relies on end to end QoS on the broadband provision and supplied router for its video on demand part of the service, as that isn't available with other ISP's it wouldn't work the same, you couldn't guarantee the VOD feature would work with another ISP because other ISP's don't necessarily use QoS or supply QoS routers.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
BT and QOS in the same sentence... Funny!
And nope wouldnt work at all with my LLU supplier who i get faster speed from for every protocol than BT ADSL products <sarcasm off>

I stand by my point, Whichever TV service you take theres always going to be something people individually dont want from the fees they have to pay.

I dont want kindergarden line training broadband, thanks.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
You don't understand the BT Vision service or QoS so.... its no surprise you don't understand what I'm writing.
Posted by btodd over 7 years ago
I think CB understands perfectly. CB explained more than once you have to pay for things you may not want with any tv package no matter what the company. He also from the very first sarcastic line understands what bt and their qos is.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 7 years ago
We had cable TV years ago, when we moved and couldn't get it, we were surprised at how little we missed it. Staying at parents recently who have VM I thought the menu/guide software was very good and the catchup TV thing on demand was great, but I couldn't see myself paying money for it every month - the only stuff I watch is on the BBC and C4 and I don't have time to watch all of that anyway. I've seen all of Star Trek and just about every episode of the Simpsons.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 7 years ago
Why do people pay money every month for this (1 in 6 have Sky alone it seems) - is it mostly for the HDTV? (Surely not for Malcolm in the Middle, 100 greatest car crashes, endless repeats and American sitcoms?)
Posted by MarkHampshire over 7 years ago
@GMAN99 - I don't really understand the BT Vision thing either. I thought it was the BBC iPlayer/ITVPlayer etc wrapped into a set top box with a menu interface and Freeview capability and some on demand bits. What I struggle with is how that can be streamed down your average ADSL connection on demand in good TV quality. It seems to need 2Mbps so I guess most people will be able to get it (65%?) but 2Mbps isn't going to stream anything of great quality.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Mark, yes its a Freeview box with a few extra bells and whistles. So the majority of your TV comes via your aerial but you also have access to the on-demand stuff, this relies on your HomeHub to ensure Quality of Service so that nothing else can interfere with the video, and it has to be end to end QoS from the Vision platform through your ISP to your Homehub which is why it has to be BT only they can't guarantee other ISP's can/will do the same (the bit Carpetburn can't get his head around)
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago

what also happens is that your profile is changed when your viewing on-demand so your browsing and regular internet is changed on the fly to 512k down with 1.5Mb down reserved for the VOD. Again this is why it can't be done with other ISP's. Once your finished with VOD you profile goes back to how it was.

As for the quality well I've used it and was very impressed, I didn't think it would work at all but it does, its quite rapid when you are choosing what to view, a few seconds buffering and your away, the quality is fine even streaming at 1.5Mbps
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago

I believe iPlayer is also coming to Vision as well. The thing than put me off was the box itself, the fan was too loud even in standby but there is a new box available now maybe that's better I don't know, that was my only gripe.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
How well does this superb QOS of BTs with their Vision box work if the home gets less than 2Mb downrates? does it scale down that 1.5Mb which is reserved for VOD see when you pay for an individual TV episode or film it becomes a bunch of pixelated carp..... Or does it pause and buffer all the time? Yep great "QOS" people reminds me of youtube without the cost.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Oh and as for iplayer on BT Vision good luck watching any HD stream on that or BBCHD itself.... That can stream at 3Mb (in rare cases more) so your 1.5Mb "QOS" will really help there.... Never mind though BT have an easy work around.... Dont provide HD. Hey people have paid for 19xx's SD from them all this time why change with the future.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
If your line doesn't support 2Mb you can't get BT Vision. Simple.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
quote"If your line doesn't support 2Mb you can't get BT Vision. Simple."

How do BT know what speed you line supports? All checkeres not only BTs are far from reliable.
Someone could easily be estimated to get 3-4Mb but actually get 2Mb or less.
Do BT let you out of the Vision contract if you cant get the additional services the box promises due to poor broadband speeds?
Posted by New_Londoner over 7 years ago
Quote "How do BT know what speed you line supports?"

Simple, when you order BT Vision the line history is checked to see what the stable line speed is - the BT broadband line has to be in for at least 10 days before ordering.

As GMan says, if your line doesn't support 2Mb for Vision then you can't get BT Vision - in fact your order will not be processed.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
I doubt any of that. 10 days is considered the line training period so looking back over 10 days wouldnt give them an accurate reading of "stable" line speed.
For someone such as myself with a LLU broadband service if i moved back to BT they wouldnt have any clue at all what my "stable" line speed is within 10 days.
During line training periods your speed can bounce all over the shop, so i dunno where you got that info, but it seems a bit stupid. Not saying it isnt true, but id be interested in any link you have to confirm that.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Also if that is true what happens when you order a broadband/Vision bundle...... Do they bill you straight away?? And if so and you cant have Vision after the 10 days of measuring your broadband speed, then what happens? I seriously dount they wait 10 days before they charge your credit/debit/bank card/account.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Would they let you out of the broadband service contract also as the cant deliver half of the pacakage you signed up to? Or would you be lumbered with BT broadband for the next 12-18 Months? Rather than being let free to go to Sky, Virgin or someone else which can provide you a TV service?
I understand BTs "QOS" all too well.
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