Sky's welcome news on online film service
Jan 27, 2013 (Financial Mail on Sunday - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
BSKYB will release details of the number of subscribers to its new Now TV service when it announces first-half results this week.
Customers do not have to be Sky subscribers to access the internet film service, which was launched last year as the company's answer to rivals Netflix and Lovefilm.
Strong take-up will be welcomed as a sign that the satellite broadcaster is still a step ahead of the growing number of rivals, while weaker take-up might be an indication that the economy is finally hitting a company that appeared recession-proof.
BSkyB increasingly points to the number of customers who take more than one of its products - TV, telephony, broadband, high-definition - as an indicator of success, perhaps because it has long since stopped adding TV customers at the stellar rates of the past.
In the three months to December, BSkyB is expected to have added just 30,000 net new pay-TV subscribers, down from 40,000 in the last quarter of 2011.
Broadband additions in that period are expected to have reached 130,000 against 166,000 in 2011, with telephony much the same, while high-definition additions are set to be 100,000 compared with 138,000 previously.
The City expects half-year profits to be six per cent up at pounds sterling 598 million on revenue up 4.3 per cent to pounds sterling 3.5 billion. Average revenue per user across all its services is likely to be up slightly, from pounds sterling 550 to pounds sterling 555.
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