Sky’s direct-to-home satellite service is now available in ten million homes, the first pay-TV platform in Europe to achieve the milestone.
Confirming the target had been reached; the satcaster said the 36% of households in the UK and Ireland represented over 25 million people. The target was first announced in August 2004, since when an additional 2.4 million customer’s have signed on Sky’s dotted line. It has become the subject of much debate in media circles as to if the level could actually be reached amid a background of plateauing subscriber numbers elsewhere in Europe.
Around a third of customers have now upgraded to high definition and almost a quarter take Sky’s broadband and home telephony services.
Earlier this year Sky also passed the £500 subscriber annual ARPU mark, a figure that had reached £514 by the time the Q1 results were published for the end of September.
“To be the choice of 10 million families is a big achievement for the whole team at Sky. It’s the result of a constant appetite for change and years of hard work behind the scenes to give our customers a great entertainment experience,” said BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch. “Sky has always been a forward-looking company and we will push on from here by continuing to invest in content and innovation. That’s the best way to satisfy existing customers and create new reasons for people to join in and take more from us.”
Sky has become a byword for innovation, in addition to the much-publicised 3D launch, this year has also seen the debut of a terabyte Sky+ personal video recorder (HD is now standard) and the satcaster has now begun to exploit the hybrid capabilities of its set-top inventory through the introduction of its Pull VOD service Sky Anytime+.
Criticism continues to come its way from rivals, be it over proposals by News Corp to officially take control of the company, or for the perceived lack of UK-originated drama that ignores the investment made in sports and news.
Early next year Sky will take advantage of its recent acquisition of UK rights to the HBO catalogue through the launch of Sky Atlantic.