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Sky inches closer to Freeview and BT’s TV and broadband top spots

Sky has further strengthened its position as the UK’s second biggest TV and broadband provider. 

The satellite TV provider now has 10.7 million TV subscribers, making premium pay TV almost as popular as subscription-free Freeview, which is in over 11 million UK homes. 

Sky also continues to give chase to BT but it’s got some way to go to overtaking the UK’s biggest ISP. 

10 million and counting... Premium pay TV is almost as popular as free to air telly
10 million and counting… Premium pay TV is almost as popular as free to air telly

While 75,000 new broadband customers were added in the three months from June, Sky’s total broadband subscriber base now stands at 5.3 million – BT is still sitting pretty at the top with 7.4 million broadband punters under its belt. 

Chief executive Jeremy Darroch said: “After a year of investment, we are seeing the returns coming through with good top-line growth of 6 per cent translating into an 11 per cent increase in profits.

”This strong financial performance was fuelled by continued operating momentum. We are seeing broad customer demand for our products whilst opening up new revenue opportunities. In all, we added 760,000 new paid-for products, 8 per cent more than the previous quarter.” 

Sky gives chase to BT, doesn’t distinguish ADSL from Superfast

Unfortunately, there’s no way of telling how popular its Sky Fibre services are. Unlike BT and TalkTalk, Sky doesn’t disclose how many of its customers are taking FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet)-based services, making it impossible to tell which UK ISP is the leading provider of superfast broadband. 

Superfast broadband or not, Sky’s results show that its connected TV services – Sky Go, Sky Store and Buy & Keep – have proven a hit with customers. 

The number of Now TV Sky Sports day passes, aimed at non-Sky TV customers, being bought have also tripled since last year. 

Darroch added: “The investments that we have made in new connected TV services are delivering growing benefits to our business. We extended our lead as the UK’s largest connected TV platform, surpassing 6 million connected homes. 

“Sky Store more than doubled its revenues and our mobile TV service Sky Go Extra achieved a record quarter of growth. The benefits are clear as connected customers watch more TV, spend more with us and are more loyal.”

Whether punters are getting their internet from Sky or not, the figures show that broadband services are key to Sky’s continued success. 

Sky proves that pay TV is as popular as free to air – almost

Sky Go is Sky’s on-demand service that lets TV customers watch Sky channels on the go, online and on phones and tablets. Sky Go is included as standard with all subscriptions and lets you watch TV on up to two devices. Sky Go Extra costs an additional £5/month on top of your Sky subscription and lets you watch TV on up to four devices. 

As of September 30, 1.4 million Sky customers have opted for Sky Go Extra, a growth of over 1.1 million from a year ago. Sky Go Extra launched in July 2013. 

Sky’s TV figures have climbed by 46,000 in the last three months. Year on year, that adds up to over quarter of a million – 273,000 –  new TV customers. 

Sky’s TV packages may start at £21.50/month (or £258 a year) compared to the one-off payment for a Freeview set-top box or TV set, but it’s a sum that people are obviously prepared to pay.