Despite a massive reversal in half-year results -from £53.2m in the black to £61.5m in the red - Sky’s share price soar rocketed by 19% to £19.10 on news that it plans to invest £250m in new internet ventures over the next 12-18 months. Among these are the expansion of its sky.com and skysports.com websites, as well as a joint venture with Hull-based Kingston Communications in which Sky will transmit films and multimedia services down traditional phonelines to 170,000 homes in east Yorkshire. Sky Digital’s latest subscriber fig-ures, now 2.3m, also helped fuel the frenzy.
"We’re not an internet start-up which has to spend 80% of its capital to get brand awareness", said chief ex-ecutive Tony Ball. I want the Sky brand to be in all bands in all devices." Mr Ball [who clearly knows how to prestidigitate away disastrous results] also enchanted the Square Mile with his forecast of 5m subscribers to Sky Digital by the end of the next financial year.