BSkyB shares jump 15% as Sky Digital proves a success

SHARES IN British Sky Broadcasting jumped by almost 15 per cent yesterday as the satellite broadcaster unveiled strong initial demand for its new digital satellite service and set a revised target of signing 1m digital subscribers within a year of its launch.

The subscriber figures and enthusiasm about the prospects for Open, BSkyB's interactive television joint venture, overshadowed a more than 50 per cent drop in the group's pre-tax profits for the six months to December.

In the four months since it was launched at the beginning of October, SkyDigital, the broadcaster's 140-channel service, signed up 350,000 subscribers. Of these 120,000 were entirely new customers to BSkyB.

BSkyB further impressed analysts with the news that 98 per cent of digital subscribers had opted for the "family basic" package of channels, rather than choosing a cheaper package containing less channels.

Mark Booth, BSkyB's chief executive, said the company was now aiming for 1m digital subscribers by October. "It should speak volumes about our confidence in the position of the company," he said.

BSkyB shares closed up 60.5p at 474.5p, reversing a slide over the past few weeks.

Investors' enthusiasm for SkyDigital also translated into renewed fears that its rival ONdigital, the joint venture between Carlton and Granada, the ITV groups, was struggling.

Carlton shares closed down 38p at 596p, even though the television group issued a trading update.

ONdigital, which launched in November, has yet to release any subscriber figures. However, it is believed to have signed up about 60,000 users by the end of January.

Yesterday BSkyB also unveiled a joint marketing agreement with America Online, the Internet group, and demonstrated Open for the first time.

Open, which is a joint venture between BSkyB, British Telecom, Matsushita and Midland Bank, is set to launch an interactive shopping and banking service on BSkyB's digital platform this spring. Yesterday, Open announced that Dixons and Argos, the retail groups, would make their products available on Open.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Guru Careers: Finance Account Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Direct Marketing Manager - B2C, Financial Services - Slough

£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...

Day In a Page

Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters