Announcing its first quarter financials, the paycaster said it had increased revenues by 12% to £6.4 billion. But operating profit of £679 million was down £65 million, despite a £314 million hit in increased Premier League costs.
But football remains a driver and Sky has announced it will screen England’s competitive internationals including qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2020 and FIFA World Cup 2022 from 2018. It means Sky has the rights to matches from all of the home nations. ITV was the previous holder of the rights package.
Sky group chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: “Across the half we have continued to drive customer and product growth in all our markets, adding over 500,000 new customers – faster growth than last year – and selling two million products. That means, in the past three years and since the Skys have come together, we’ve now added 2.5 million customers and total products are up almost 25%.”
Christmas boosted UK sales with 1.2 million products sold including 124,000 new TV products. This takes the customer base to 11.4 million. An additional 140,000 broadband products takes the installed base over 6 million.
Churn increased to 11.6%, which Sky blames on broadband customers, which have a higher propensity to switch providers.
Italy received a boost from coverage of UEFA Euro 2016 – and its highest-ever audience for Italy v Germany – and TV8 doubling audiences year on year. It was also the best growth in Q1 since 2009.