The company was keen to flag that with 3.2 million customers now take TV, internet and telephony, meaning it has eclipsed Virgin Media as the largest triple play provider in the UK. The total subscriber base is now 10.55 million.
Sky had 4.2 million HD subs at the end of March. It also said that 250,000 of its customers could now watch its 3D service. Sky reported a 5% year-on-year increase in revenue of £5.1 billion (€6.2 billion) for the nine months to end-March. Operating profit increased 25%, taking the total to £939 million. “In what remains a tough economic environment, strong and consistent execution of our plan has delivered good growth across our product range,” said Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s CEO. “The decision to focus our marketing on home communications has paid off with our fastest quarter of growth since launch and confirmation that Sky is now Britain’s favourite triple play provider.”
BSkyB’s programming deal with HBO and increased investment in original content contributed to an £88 million rise in programming costs in the nine months to end March. The news Corp-backed UK pay TV operator inked an output deal with HBO in mid-2010 and then created the Sky Atlantic channel in early 2011 to house that content. It has also recently invested in a raft of original UK programming and has pledged to spend £600 million a year on British content by 2014. These programming initiatives were largely responsible for a 5% increase in programming costs, taking the total to £1.7 billion.
Channel costs also increased, £22 million, as Sky added new high definition channels to its service.
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