BSkyB Integrates New Media Interests; Reveals Rising Subscriber Base

10 May 2001

UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB is to gather all its new media interests under one roof.

The move involves bringing the Open home-shopping service – scaled back last week following mounting losses [WAMN: 04-May-01] – into the broadcaster’s interactive unit, with Open’s managing director Jon Florsheim expected to take charge of the enlarged division.

Commented BSkyB chief executive Tony Ball: “We will consolidate all our assets in one division, Sky Interactive, which will allow us to make cost savings, generate extra revenues and integrate more interactive content with television programming.”

The announcement came as the broadcaster unveiled rising subscriber numbers and widening losses for the fiscal third quarter. Home satellite customers jumped 252,000 over the three months to March, reaching 5.3m, compared to 4.16m a year earlier. Moreover, digital subscribers accounted for 5.06m – leaving BSkyB on course to end analogue broadcasts in the summer.

The company’s cable subscribers fell slightly – from 3.1m in Q2 to 2.9m – leaving BSkyB with a total of 9.9m subscribers in the UK and Ireland, compared to 9.75m in the previous quarter. The churn rate stayed flat at 10%. However, pre-tax losses soared from £28.4m last year to £105.1m.

News source: Financial Times