UK satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (Sky) (LSE:BSY) has reported a 7.5% increase in profit for the six months to 31 December 2012.
The company, which is 39% owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, reported today that pre-tax profit for the first half of its financial year grew to GBP642m, from GBP597m a year ago.
Revenue for the six-month period totalled GBP3,533m, gaining 5% year-on-year, and the company’s average revenue per user rose GBP24 to GBP568. This was attributed to more households opting to take Sky’s broadband and telephone services as well as TV, combined with a price rise in September.
Sky added 88,000 new customers in the quarter to 31 December, taking its total number of subscribers to 10.74 million, up 271,000 for the year.
The company added 50,000 new TV customers in the quarter, of which 25,000 subscribed to its new Internet TV service NOW TV.
Later this year the broadcaster is planning to launch sport on NOW TV, offering pay-as-you-go access to Sky Sports for the first time. Under the new offer, customers will get unlimited access to all six Sky Sports channels for a 24-hour period for GBP9.99.
This means that viewers without a Sky TV subscription will be able to buy a “day pass” to watch prime content such as Premier League football, Formula One grand prix action, England cricket matches and Masters golf.
BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch is confident that the new service will not cannibalise revenues from monthly Sky Sports subscribers. Commenting today, he said that it will work well alongside Sky Sports and will complement the subscription packages. This is a way to extend Sky Sports, as well as Sky Movies and entertainment channels, to an entirely new set of customers, he added.