Sky profits surge despite drop in new subscribers

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The Independent Online

BSkyB underlined its financial strength with a 28% surge in profits, but the pay-TV giant is facing growing pressure on subscriber numbers because of the economy and internet rivals.

Sky added only 40,000 new TV subscribers in the three months to December, against 140,000 a year earlier. Revenues rose only 6% in the past six months to £3.36bn. But pre-tax profits jumped to £597m, thanks to improved margins. However, in a sign of how Sky may fear online rivals such as Net Flix and LoveFilm, it announced a cut-price internet-only TV service. Sky's shows will be available online or via a games console on a pay-per-programme or monthly basis — instead of signing up as subscribers.