Sky Italia seeks reduction in content costs

August 8, 2013 11.00 Europe/London By Julian Clover

Sky Italia Headquarters21st Century Fox COO Chase Carey says Sky Italia will look to reduce the amount it pays for content as it seeks to balance a decline in subscribers with what Carey described as the reality of the Italian economy.

Programming expenses including the London Olympics and expanded coverage of UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Formula One coverage cost Sky Italia $35 million.

“Sky Italia’s strategy “continues to maintain market leadership and competitive strength while restructuring costs for the reality of the Italian economy”,” said Carey in an investor call. “The company’s current plan to reduce the cost of major content contracts as they come up for renewal over the next 12-24 months “will enable us to have a very profitable and strong Sky Italia, even in today’s current economic circumstances, that can grow the top line more aggressively when the economy improves”.

Subscriber numbers fell by 27,000 subscribers during the quarter, bringing total subscribers to 4.76 million.

The growth of international sports channels including Eredivisie Media & Marketing in the Netherlands alongside Fox Sports Latin America and Asia and Star Sports Asia helped grow the cable channels business outside the United States.