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10/05/2002

BSkyB reports profit rises

Satellite television broadcaster, BSkyB, has reported profits in its newly published third quarter results.
Nearly six million households are subscribing to Sky's digital satellite services and its operating profit in the nine months to the end of March was £129 million, a rise of thirty-three per cent.
The company also reported that its number of digital subscribers climbed to 5.9 million at the end of March, a net gain of 171,000 in the quarter.
The quality and popularity of Sky Channel's was demonstrated in the quarter, as share of all UK homes increased by 18 per cent to 6.7 per cent – up 5.7 per cent on the previous year. Sky One is achieving record audiences for popular shows like 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'.
Sky News also received a BAFTA for its coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks - the first time that the award for news has been given to a non-terrestrial broadcaster, whilst Sky Sports' average audience figures for Premier League football went up by seven per cent on last season.
However, the company lost nearly £1.3 billion during the period, mainly because of the collapse of the German company KirchPayTV, in which it had a large stake. Sky was also owed £22 million by UK company, ITV Digital.
However, BSkyB said that the supply of Sky Channels to ITV Digital had made a material contribution to that operating profit.
Now that ITV Digital has folded, Sky said that it was seeking ways of ensuring that its channels would still be available on the digital terrestrial platform.
It's 'churn' rate, was reported at 10.5 per cent, which has fallen from the previous quarter's figure of 10.4 per cent and is also lower than the churn rates for the cable companies.
NTL has been reported as losing 21.3 per cent of its viewers per year, whilst Telewest has a churn rate of 19.1 per cent and ITV Digital, before its collapse, had a cancellation rate of 23 per cent.
Sky has also been hit by the downturn in the advertising market, with its advertising revenue falling by 11 per cent in the quarter.
However, overall BSkyB's chief executive, Tony Ball, was pleased with the results. He said: "Sky is reporting another strong set of results today, demonstrating that Sky Digital continues to make progress on all fronts."
(KMcA)
VMI.TV Ltd

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