Skip to main content

BSkyB Subscriptions Pick Up as 3DTV Launch Approaches

LONDON: The U.K.’s primary pay TV provider is adding HD customers in droves as it prepares to launch 3DTV over its high-def infrastructure. BSkyB said today it added 428,000 Sky+HD subscribers in its fiscal third quarter ending March 31. That compares to 243,000 who signed on for HD in F3Q09. The net additions this year bring Sky’s total of HD subscribers to 2.5 million.

Sky launched 3DTV in pubs around Great Britain April 3 with coverage of a soccer match between Manchester United and Chelsea. The satellite provider started experimenting with sending 3D over its HD infrastructure a year ago.

“The launch of Sky 3D, Europe’s first 3D TV channel, has got off to a good start, with more than 1,000 venues signed up so far,” Sky’s earnings release said. “We’re on track to bring 3D to residential customers later this year along with our new video-on-demand service, Sky Anytime+. All of this will be available through our existing HD box.”

Sky added 62,000 net customers during the quarter, bringing its total number of subscribers to 9.77 million. (The HD number represents upgrades as well as new subscribers.) Virgin Media, Sky’s rival in the United Kingdom, has 4.76 million subscribers.
-- Deborah D. McAdams