Good to see that BSkyB, the caring sharing broadcaster, is rewarding its loyal customers by reducing its Sky high subsription costs. Yeah right. While city folk may be delighted that the broadcaster turned in a £250 million profit in just six months, and that James Murdoch is following in Daddy’s footsteps, the rest of us are less than chuffed. We can’t help thinking that if Sky had a half decent competitor in the pay TV market (ie. if NTL and Telewest ever merge) then customers, rather than shareholders, might get a better deal. Here are those figures in full for those who like to read about business success stories.
* 192,000 new subscribers in 3 months to December 31. Total number of subscribers = 7.6 million
* 23 per cent increase in profits in six months to December 31. Profits for the period = £250 million
* 35 per cent increase in Sky Plus subscribers during quarter to December 31. Number now standing at 642,000.
* Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) up from £377 in third quarter of 2004 to £386 in fourth quarter.