BSkyB's subscriptions up


BSkyB's subscriptions up
UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB has revealed that it attracted a "record" number of new subscribers in the three months to June 30th.

New customer additions totalled 349,000 over the quarter, a 20 per cent increase year-on-year, the company revealed in a statement.

BSkyB's subscription base was buoyed by a decrease in churn, with the number of customers leaving the pay-TV company falling to 12.1 per cent - down from the previous 13.7 per cent reported.

Allowing for defections over the quarter, the company's net new customer additions reached 90,000 over the period.

The growth, which represented an increase of 17 per cent on the previous year, was higher than many analysts had predicted and seems to indicate that BSkyB may be benefiting from its ongoing row with rival Virgin Media.

BSkyB, which pulled several of its key stations from Virgin Media's cable platform earlier this year following a dispute over carriage fees, now has a total of 8.6 million customers.

The company also claims that it has succeeded in becoming one of the UK's leading broadband and telephone providers in less than 12 months and is taking a growing share of business from established market rivals.

Overall the number of customers subscribing to Sky Broadband rose by 259,000 to 716,000 over the quarter, while 526,000 people are now signed up for the company's Sky Talk telephone service after another period of growth.

Commenting on the results, BSkyB chief executive James Murdoch said: "Our transformation continues to gather pace.

"Today we are adding new customers at the fastest rate since analogue switch-off; we are adding more broadband customers than any other provider; and we are the only major residential telephony provider growing its customer base," he stressed.

Meanwhile the Competition Commission is continuing its investigation into BSkyB's recent purchase of a 17.9 per cent stake in commercial broadcaster ITV.

The regulator is due to report to the government on whether the sale threatens the diversity of the UK's news market because of the other media interests owned by Mr Murdoch's father, Rupert Murdoch.

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