BSkyB records big subscriber jump

MUMBAI: Somebody's loss is usually someone else's gain. News Corp controlled British satellite TV operator BSkyB has reported a big jump in subscriber numbers built to an extent on the back of the April collapse of rival ITV Digital. 

BSkyB, Britain's number one pay-TV operator said it signed up 214,000 new subscribers. This takes its subscriber base to 6.1 million, well on course for its target of 7 million by the end of next year, Reuters has reported. 

BSkyB, 36 per cent owned by News Corp and chaired by Rupert Murdoch, is one of the core assets in the media tycoon's global satellite TV platform Sky Global.

Also earlier this month, BSkyB secured a four-year contract with the English Football League to broadcast its matches for 95 million pounds. The contract was previously held by ITV Digital.

In another positive development for BSkyB, the heavyweight title fight between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson on 8 June has proved a knockout for the pay TV operator. 

BSkyB said quarterly annualised average revenue per direct-to-home subscriber (ARPU) in the three months to end June was 347, an increase of 11 per cent over the three months ended 30 June 2001. 

The company said ARPU was calculated excluding pay-per-view revenues from the Lewis-Tyson fight to reflect the "one-off" nature of the event. Including these revenues, ARPU was 352.

Lewis beat Tyson in eight rounds in Memphis to retain his WBS and IBF world titles. 

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