Nearly one in five satellite television homes in the UK now has a Sky+ digital video recorder. There are now 1.43 million Sky+ boxes, representing 18% of satellite subscribers, nearly double the number from the previous year.
The figures were announced as BSkyB reported a record operating profit, up 15% to £660 million for the previous nine months, with a pre-tax profit of £609 million on a total turnover of £3.08 billion. This comes despite a slowdown in overall subscriber growth, adding just 40,000 customers in the last quarter, giving a total of 8.1 million subscribers.
Sky is currently concentrating its efforts on the launch of high-definition and broadband services. The Sky HD service is due to launch on 22 May, with a package of high-definition channels including Sky Sports, Sky Movies, Sky One, National Geographic and Discovery, although live coverage of the World Cup on the BBC is also expected to be a big attraction.
Sky is expected to launch a residential broadband service in the summer. Since the acquisition of Easynet, Sky reports good progress in installing equipment in BT telephone exchanges, and expects to reach around 380 by the end of June, bringing 7.5 million homes within reach, or 30% of UK homes. The aim is to cover 70% of UK homes by the end of 2007.
Revenues for Sky Bet rose to £27 million on a turnover of £239 million. There was a growth in revenues generated from ‘red button’ services, including interactive advertising, which was offset by the closure of the SkyBuy retail service, with total Sky Active revenue flat at £67 million.