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Growth Hit as Sky Broadband Delivers 5.96 Million UK Subscribers

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 (8:30 am) - Score 1,325
sky broadband uk

Sky has today published their latest Q2 2016 (calendar) results, which reveals that they added +24,000 new Sky Broadband subscribers in the UK and Ireland during the quarter to total 5.964 million (sharply down from +46K in Q1 and +144K in Q4 2015). But the operator still has a lot to celebrate.

Admittedly the growth is significantly less than we’ve seen from Sky in the past, although it should be said that the month of June often puts pressure on subscriber figures due to the sudden rush of contract cancellations that can occur as students begin preparing to return home for the summer. On top of that the Brexit vote was a big distraction and Sky hasn’t had many big broadband discounts running.

Otherwise the April to June period has actually been a busy one for Sky. During Q2 the company has confirmed that they have no plans to build their own fibre optic network (here), started trials of a new 18Mbps FTTCfibre broadband” product for slow ADSL2+ subscribers (here), added a no-contract broadband and phone bundle to their NOW TV service (here), enabled default-on Internet censorship filters (here), replaced their old 2GB Sky Lite broadband service with a 15GB option (here) and launched an Ultra HD (4K) TV product via Sky Q Silver (here).

On top of that we had hoped that today’s report might reveal some more detail about the operator’s forthcoming O2 (MVNO) based Sky Mobile product (expected towards the end of 2016), which is likely to help create a new batch of triple and quad-play bundles with broadband, phone and or TV. But sadly the update merely reiterates everything we’ve heard before.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Group CEO, said:

“With revenue up 7% and profits up 12%, it’s been another excellent year for Sky. We have broadened our business and expanded into new consumer segments, applying our proven strategy across the group.

The group is leveraging the many opportunities of scale; sharing resources, insights, expertise and innovation. We are investing in a broad range of world class entertainment in every market, distributed across an unrivalled choice of market-leading platforms and supported by excellent service, because these are the things that really matter to customers.

Each of our markets is making very strong progress. In the UK and Ireland we passed £8 billion in revenue for the first time by giving consumers more and more reasons to choose Sky including our new premium service, Sky Q.

Our focus on operating efficiently and effectively in all our markets has enabled us to further reduce our costs as a percentage of sales, providing more fuel to grow profits and to invest where it counts – on screen and in our products and services.

Our deep insights into the needs of customers, along with our investments in brilliant programmes and technology, strong relationships with our partners and, above all, our desire to embrace change means that we continue to better serve our customers, and grow our business. Our ambition is to be the best customer-led entertainment and communications company in the world, delivering long term benefits for all our shareholders.”

On the financial front Sky’s churn rate remains stuck at 11.2% and their Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) is similarly flat on £47 per month. Otherwise Sky UK and Ireland saw revenue for the 12 months to 30th June 2016 of £8,371m (up from £7,820m last year) and their operating profit delivered £1,504m (up from £1,350m last year).

In addition, Sky noted that they now have more than 1 million “broadband-only customers” (we assume they mean broadband + line rental), who they say “have a higher propensity to switch providers, in line with the industry norm“.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar Tim Rossiter

    Long term trends
    Its interesting to look at long term subscriber trends.
    From memory 6 years ago BT had about 5-6M retail subs and now has 9.1M.
    Whereas Sky had only recently started with about 1.5M and now 6M.
    Overall there are probably 8 – 10M new UK subs (which is impressive and good for the UK) but most of the net growth has been with the one time ‘new entrant’ Sky.

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