July 31, 2008

Sky HD take up slows

Sky's latest quarterly results are published today; predictably good (but not outstanding) and still on target for their "10 million by 2010". Full press release here.
One thing that caught my eye was that there were 33,000 Sky HD customers added last quarter. That's somewhat disappointing if you look at it as a proportion of the total number of Sky customers: HD now being available to half a million of Sky's customers, just 5% of their total base. Okay, 41% of Sky customers have Sky +, but the HD take up appears to have stuttered.
Considering the marketing push behind their HD services, that's pretty surprising. Maybe the price cut will improve Sky's HD take up. Maybe it'll pick up with the new footie season. But maybe it's going to remain a niche product in these credit crunching times.
(Curiously, 11% of Virgin Media's customers have HD through the V+ according to the last published results, and that proportion should increase further when they release newer figures in August. Of course the customer base is smaller, but it makes you think. Unless your name's Neil Berkett, of course...)
Incidentally, Sky's ad revenues were again impacted by the lack of Sky basics on Virgin Media and Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said this when asked about them returning to VM:
"Our view hasn't changed. We'd like to get our channels back on Virgin. It's cost us money in terms of advertising and wholesale, and I'm afraid that is the power of a closed network, so we can't do that unless they agree. If we can get to sensible terms we'll try to but it's still up in the air."

Virgin said "Discussions are still ongoing."

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