In an interview with CNBC, Jeremy Darroch said it wasn’t so much the £4.2 billion paid for the Premier League for the next three seasons, but how Sky was using its assets.
“[It’s] about how effective are we at monetising those investments and what we’ve built in the UK is a highly effective monetisation engine so we don’t just supply sports rights in one way. We provide it in a multi multitude of different ways including pay as you go as well as a subscription service. And increasingly of course we’re also able to leverage new revenue streams on the back of that,” said Darroch.
He said there remained the potential for growth in a market where only 50, 55 per cent of people pay for TV. “So if we can continue to persuade more people to upgrade then there’s still a huge amount of value that we can then reinvest in the very best content for our customers.”
Darroch expressed delight at the progress that had been made in integrating the Italian and German markets. Italy was particularly gratifying and had been run on what he called a “self-help” basis. “One of the interesting things about our business plan in Italy it was predicated on the change that we can bring to the existing business in Italy rather than really relying on the big change in the economy now and that is certainly true to say that Italy as an economy is probably more challenged than either Germany or the UK”.
There was good news for subscribers outside of the UK wanting to get hold of the Sky Q box, where the integration meant a much faster delivery time than the countries would have been able to achieve on their own.
Asked about the data that was collected by OTT services such as Amazon and Netflix, Darroch explained data to be an important part of the Sky business. This included data derived from a second set-top box that Darroch described as an “increasing facet of what we do”, giving Sky insight on how customers consume, stay with a programme or treat an ad break.