Sky was able to increase quarterly revenues in the third quarter, but dropped 233,000 subscribers across its European footprint.
Subscriber levels in Italy came under particular pressure following the loss of the rights to Italy’s Serie A football.
Addressing shareholders Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sky’s parent, Comcast Corporation, said he was pleased the UK business had maintained its momentum. “Going forward, I am excited about the opportunity to continue to invest in our global technology platform and other businesses while returning more capital to shareholders. This strategy is reflected in our most recent product launches – XClass TV in the US and Sky Glass in Europe – as well as the $2.7 billion we returned to shareholders through a combination of share repurchases and dividend payments.”
For the nine months ending September 30, 2021, Sky revenue increased 13.6% to $15.2 billion compared to 2020.
When currency fluctuations are stripped out, revenue was broadly consistent with 2021 with lower content revenue caused by the loss of sports programming rights in Germany and Italy and the retiming of other events due to Covid offset by increased advertising revenues.
Direct-to-consumer revenue of $4.1 billion was consistent with the prior year, primarily reflecting an increase in customer relationships and average revenue per customer (ARPU) in the UK.