Profit of £1.1bn for BSkyB


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The Independent Online

BSkyB will report a record pre-tax profit of around £1.1bn on Thursday despite concerns that demand for satellite dishes is slowing.

Chief executive Jeremy Darroch spent almost £2.3bn retaining Premier League rights – 40 per cent more than in 2009 – and last week he launched Now TV, a cut-price internet movies service to combat the rise of Net Flix and LoveFilm.

But some critics are concerned about how Sky's pay-TV subscriber growth has slowed as the economic downturn and the rise of online rivals, known as over-the-top (OTT) players, take their toll.

"What began as a defensive move against the new OTT players could backfire if cannibalisation of its core business takes hold," warned Ted Hall, an Informa analyst.

Sky is expected to increase subscription fees for many of its 10.5 million customers this autumn.

Questions remain over Ofcom's investigation into News Corporation, Sky's biggest shareholder, after the phone-hacking scandal.