BSkyB has surprised the City by reporting new customer additions of 340,000, but a rise in churn to 13.7% from 11.9% just three months ago meant that net customer growth was restricted to 51,000 – still an increase of 28% year-on-year to 8.492 million. Earlier this week, Lehman Brothers which had earlier estimated a loss of 14.2% of subscribers reduced its forecasts to 13.5%.
As digital switchover beckons the question is whether this is the new normal as previous pay-TV refuseniks try, and sometimes reject, subscription television.
The satisfaction levels of those that remain is hard to question; third quarter growth for Sky+ of 199,000 has taken the digital video recorder into 2.167 million household, its 25% penetration target reached three years ahead of schedule.
HD subscribers grew by 60,000 on the quarter to reach 244,000 within 10 months.
Broadband subscribers doubled to 553,000 with gross bookings of 669,000 as of April 29, 2007. Sky Talk customers have increased by 83% to 408,000. The DTH platform is stressing its See, Speak, Surf triple play concept.
In the financial third quarter to March 31, 2007, EBITDA dipped slightly to £750 million (€1.1 billion) from £756 million in 2006 and including an exceptional gain of £56 million. Operating profit of £613 million included losses of £137 million in residential broadband and Easynet Enterprise and a net exceptional gain of £56 million.