Sky scopes out price hikes as loyalty increases

 
Michael Bow
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BROADCASTER Sky opened the door to further price hikes for viewers yesterday as it reported the best customer retention numbers in 11 years.

Sky boss Jeremy Darroch said there was scope to raise prices more in future as the group introduced better services and products for viewers.

“We think generally the prospect for a little bit higher pricing....are good across all of the markets,” he added.

Sky is set to raise prices by an above-inflation £2.50 a month from 1 June this year, earlier than its normal price rise, traditionally in September.

Shares in the FTSE 100 company rose five per cent yesterday after its churn rate – the number of customers ditching the service – had fallen to 10.1 per cent, its lowest level since the 9.4 per cent registered in 2004.

It also registered a 41 per cent rise in customers for the third quarter, adding another 127,000 viewers.

The firm shocked analysts in February when it paid £4.2bn for two season’s of Premier League football rights after it lost the Champions League to BT.

Darroch admitted the loss of Champions League football would impact on first half results next year but it would surmount the problem.

The company was boosted by its Now TV on-demand service, although it refused to reveal the split between customers using the service and those with traditional subscriptions. Sky Store also helped the group, where revenues rose 75 per cent. About 500,000 customers have purchased movies through the platform since it launched in 2012, it said.