BSkyB to declare 9.4m subs?

Chris Forrester

The gossip amongst London’s ‘Sky watchers’ is that BSkyB is about to reveal an impressive set of end-of-year numbers this coming Thursday when it declares its Q4 and full-year figures.

The consensus seems to be that BSkyB is defying the current UK recession, the deepest such down-turn since the 1930’s. instead, the company will reveal core subs numbers are now topping 9.4m - within striking distance of the long-awaited 10m subscription target for 2010.

Analysts will, however, be looking for a degree of extra information, for example, whether the recession is hitting Sky’s premium bundles and thus affecting its overall ARPU levels. Advertising levels, not entirely crucial to Sky, are also likely to have been squeezed by the recession.

One report states that Sky’s net growth for the three months to June 30 is 94,000 subs, and that HD and Sky+ growth is also buoyant. If correct, this means that Sky will have added (net) new subscribers of some 430,000 this past year.