European satellite firm BSkyB recently issued its latest quarterly numbers and thanks partly to continued interest in HD, the numbers are quite good. In the last quarter, Sky delivered about 80,000 new subscribers—which is up more than 40 percent more than last year's identical period, and higher than analysts were predicting.
Providers of home entertainment, in general, seem to be weathering the economic storm quite well these days, perhaps proving (as some analysts such as iSuppli in the United States have predicted) that consumers will continue to tap into relatively inexpensive forms of "entertainment" (broadly defined) when times get tough—and consequently relinquish more costly options such as cruises, dining out, or Broadway and London stage productions. (Theater movies, it should be noted, continue an exception.)
Sky's subscriber base for its Sky+HD services recently passed the one-million mark—and now represents more than 10 percent of its 9.3 million subs. Still, while its HD base grew by about 250,000 homes, Sky's SD base grew by a larger 406,000.
Sky currently provides 33 HD channels. Its churn (cancellation) number for all subs slid up a mere one-tenth of a point—to 10.6 percent.
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