On Demand relaunch pays for Sky

November 1, 2012 08.52 Europe/London By Julian Clover

The relaunch of Sky+ has contributed to a strong quarter for BSkyB. In the three months to September 30, 2012, Sky added a further 48,000 households, bringing the total to 10.6 million in the UK & Ireland.

3.5 million customers (1 in 3) take the triple play package of TV, broadband and fixed line telephony.

4.5 million people now take the HD service with an additional 125,000 HD customers added on the quarter.

Churn currently stands at 10.9%.

Increased revenues of £1,715 million delivered a profit of £392 million.

“We have made a strong start to the year, delivering another good quarterly performance and continuing to position the business for the long term. Our investment in high quality content and innovative services has delivered excellent levels of loyalty and generated good growth in customers and products,” commented BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch.

In recent weeks Sky+ has been relaunched with a 7-day catch-up TV section introduced to On Demand (the rebranded Anytime+). Around 1.3 million customers have already activated the service that this week received a boost from the addition of the BBC iPlayer.

6.7 million household have what Darroch described as the ‘most reliable’ Sky+ HD box – the units produced following the Amstrad acquisition. “Not only has that been a contributing factor to a 45% reduction in service visits over the last three years, but it has also helped us to reduced our other operating costs by £21 million.

Content is delivered using the NDS progressive download technology that gives the customer a buffer based on the available broadband speed to ensure a programme can be watched uninterrupted.

A new 2TB Sky+ HD box has also been introduced as has the ability to change channels, and view the content on a Sky+ box, through an iPad.

Unqiue users of Sky Go increased on the quarter to a new high of 2.8 million, an increase of 75% on the prior year, boosted by particularly strong usage around the Ryder Cup as customers kept up with the dramatic European victory.