It felt at the beginning of the week as if we were being prepared for bad news. The analysts were suggesting that Sky could be in for a nasty quarter, but Thursday morning came and there seemed to be little to worry about.
It’s in the nature of journalism to pitch a story that David might be about to come and take on Goliath, but sometimes it takes on comical proportions.
My favourite of the week is the threat posed to Sky – and everyone else for that matter – by Apple and Google and their latest TV ventures. With due respect to Google Chrome it seems unlikely that a combination of the BBC iPlayer, BT Sport and YouTube would be able to take on anybody. Apple meanwhile has edged forward with a couple of deals with HBO and Canal+, but ostensibly it’s still an add on service, unlikely to cause anyone to graze let alone cut the cord.
But back to the plot.
Last quarter we heard similar suggestions only to see a quarter for Sky that saw growth and a large bill for its Premier League football coverage.
On the day that BT announced it was continuing its sports channels were to continue their ‘feels like free’ status for another year – interesting the telco felt it necessary to say that – Sky was there to say the season without Manchester United performing like the champions they once were was its best ever.
The battle ground for the next few years will be connected TV, which is why Sky is pressing home that it has five million homes hooked up via its Sky+ box. Virgin Media is of a similar order, while Google and Apple, from a UK standpoint can only stand back and marvel at BT’s one million homes.