Television

BSkyB's Q1 revenues up 11 %

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MUMBAI: UK pay TV platform BSkyB has announced results for the first quarter ended 30 September 2006.

Revenues increased by 11 per cent to ?1071 million.

DTH subscribers increased to 8.258 million, net growth of 82,000 in the quarter. Sky+ households increased by 139,000 in the quarter to 1,692,000, represtning a 20 per cent penetration of total DTH subscribers.

Multiroom households increased by 46,000 in the quarter to 1,093,000, a 13 per cent penetration of total DTH subscribers. HD households increased to 96,000, net growth of 58,000 in the quarter.

BSkyB CEO James Murdoch said, ?This has been an important period for the company. We are building on our leadership in pay television and are becoming an increasingly well positioned challenger in the ?20 billion combined industry for pay television, broadband and telephone services. Sky has delivered the highest first quarter subscriber growth for three years and is seeing high demand across our range of services.

"One in three families in the UK and Republic of Ireland are choosing Sky for the widest choice in television and now almost a quarter of those families take at least one additional product from us as well. While it is still early, we are pleased with the progress since the launch of Sky Broadband and in just 15 weeks, we?ve seen a great response from Sky customers. Our preparations, pace of provisioning and investments in service and systems to manage demand are performing well. Our strategy is leading to an increase in revenue growth with overall revenues up 11 per cent in the quarter.

"Our expansion into new areas is supported by continued growth and strong financial performance with pay television EBITDA up eight per cent in the quarter. A wide choice of quality programmes, innovative services like HDTV, Sky+, and broadband are not only attracting new customers, but also offering new services to existing customers. There?s never been a better time to join in.?

The total number of DTH digital satellite subscribers in the UK and Ireland was 8,258,000, representing a net increase of 82,000 in the quarter and the highest first quarter net subscriber growth since 2003. Strong demand for Sky?s broad range of products led to an increase in gross additions of 14 per cent on the comparable period to 325,000; gross additions were 34 per cent higher than those recorded in the three months to September 2004.

Sky+ the firm says continues to exceed expectations, with over 20 per cent of all Sky households now taking the product. At 30 September 2006, the number of households subscribing to Sky+ was 1,692,000, an increase of 139,000. During the quarter, the Group reduced the price of Sky+ for existing customers, removing the necessity to take a Multiroom subscription, and thereby allowing them to upgrade at the same attractive rates as new joiners.

Sky HD subscribers more than doubled during the quarter to 96,000, the fastest ever customer take-up of an additional Sky product, and already representing three times the sales levels achieved by Sky+ in its first year.

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