BSkyB today turned up the heat on rival BT as the pay-TV giant’s broadband customer base smashed through the five million level for the first time.
Sky’s surging broadband business has added 111,000 subscribers in the past three months and 914,000 in the year.
Chief executive Jeremy Darroch said there was “plenty of headroom” to persuade more of Sky’s 10.5 million TV subscribers and other new customers to take broadband and home phone.
Sky only entered the broadband market in 2006 and is now number two behind BT, which has retaliated by splashing out on Premier League football rights for the first time. BT has 6.8 million broadband customers.
Darroch admitted Sky’s profits have taken a short-term hit as it has had to spend an extra £220 million on football rights this year but there will be no extra cost in the following two years.
Quarterly pre-tax profits tumbled 15 per cent to £245 million, although revenues climbed 7 per cent to £1.84 billion as Sky sells more products. Thirty six per cent take a triple play of TV, broadband and phone, up from 33 per cent a year ago.
BT’s entry into pay-TV sport did not appear to hurt Sky, which added 37,000 TV customers. Darroch said a more open Premier League title race was stimulating viewer interest.Reuse content