Game of Thrones helps boost Sky customer numbers by 51 per cent

 
Caitlin Morrison
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Game of Thrones is now Sky's most-watched series (Source: Sky)

Game of Thrones helped Sky increase customer numbers by 51 per cent in the first quarter, as revenue and earnings also grew.

The figures

Like-for-like revenues were up five per cent to £3.3bn in the three months to 30 September, from £3.1bn this time last year.

Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) rose to £582m from £518m.

The group added 160,000 new customers in the quarter, a 51 per cent jump, and recorded 9.6m pay-as-you-go sports and entertainment buys, an increase of 12 per cent.

Why it's interesting

Today's update comes as Sky awaits a decision from the competition watchdog on a proposed takeover by 21st Century Fox. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said earlier this week that it would investigate issues of media plurality surrounding the deal.

Today, Sky noted that if 21st Century Fox's offer is not approved by the CMA by the end of the year, a special dividend of 10p per Sky share will be paid to shareholders in February 2018.

Elsewhere, Sky said its strong customer growth during the quarter was "helped by strong campaigns in all markets around Game of Thrones". The fantasy series is now the most-watched ever shown on Sky.

What Sky said

"We've had a strong start to our new financial year with good revenue growth and excellent profit growth as investments we've made come through," said group chief executive Jeremy Darroch.

"Against the backdrop of pressure on consumer spending and lower spend on UK television advertising, we were particularly pleased with our own Ebitda growth.

"Alongside developing our existing products and services, we continue to invest for the future. In the UK, customers are responding well to our entry into the mobile market whilst this quarter we have successfully entered two new territories with the launch of direct to consumer streaming services in Spain and Switzerland, further demonstrating our credentials as the leading provider of streaming services in Europe."

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