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BSkyB could be looking at TV subs fall, say analysts

Analysts at Berenberg and Credit Suisse expect BSkyB to report a decline in traditional pay TV subscribers for the first time when it reveals its second quarter figures tomorrow. 

Analysts at the pair reportedly estimate that Sky lost between 5,000 and 15,000 pay TV customers in the quarter to March.

Sky now reports a single figure for TV subscribers, including both traditional pay TV subs and those who take its low-cost over-the-top service Now TV. Morgan Stanley has reportedly estimated that this broader number will show growth of about 30,000 on the last quarter.

Credit Suisse believes that pay TV growth in the traditional sense has now virtually stopped and that Sky will look to selling other products including broadband to existing customers.

However TV customers have a higher margin than broadband subs, potentially leading to a hit on Sky’s margins.

BSkyB is now facing tough competition from BT and TalkTalk for TV customers, as well as from traditional competitor Virgin Media, in a mature pay TV market.