Sky Italia subs fall
May 10, 2012 09.13 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Sky Italia fell below five million subscribers as the recession took its toll on the satcaster.

The News Corp-owned platform lost 86,000 subscribers, closing the quarter on 4.94 million.

In terms of revenue it was a better picture with an operating income of $40 million (€30.84m), compared to $17 million in the corresponding quarter.

During the News International investor call Dave DeVoe, CFO, said: “This improvement primarily reflects higher advertising and subscription revenues resulting from the higher year-on-year subscriber base. ARPU of €42 was in line with the third quarter year ago and was €1 higher than the most recent December quarter.

“While we are pleased with SKY Italia’s financial performance, the challenging economic environment in Italy is directly impacting gross subs additions in churn. As a result, Sky lost a net 86,000 subscribers in the quarter ending, resulting in 4.94 million subs at the quarter end.

“We continue to have complete confidence in the long-term growth prospects for this business, given the relatively low pay-TV penetration in Italy and SKY’s strong competitive position there. But we are realistic and that our growth is closely linked to consumer confidence and consumption, which will be challenging, given the economic conditions in Italy over the near term.”