Game Of Thrones is helping Sky to reign
THE POPULARITY of Game Of Thrones has helped boost broadcasting giant Sky as it posted surging revenues and customer numbers.
Sky – currently the subject of an £11.7bn takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox – said it added 160,000 new customers in its first quarter, which marks a 51 per cent rise on a year earlier. The group said fantasy drama
Game Of Thrones was now its “most-watched series ever”, while it also hailed home-grown series Riviera after it notched up 20 million downloads.
Chief executive Jeremy Darroch said the group’s investment in production was “delivering”, with customer viewing to Sky pay channels up 10 per cent year-on-year.
The group shrugged off pressure on consumer and advertising spending to post a five per cent rise in revenues to £3.3bn for the first quarter, while underlying earnings jumped 11 per cent higher to £582m.
Mr Darroch 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.”
He added: “Looking ahead, despite the uncertainty in the broader consumer environment, we remain on track with our plans and enter the busy second quarter trading period focused on delivering our clear strategy for growth.”
The update came as Sky chairman James Murdoch faced shareholders amid investor unrest over his independence and concerns on pay plans for top bosses.
Mr Murdoch is chief executive of Fox, which is attempting to seize control of the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own.
Shareholder advisory groups called on investors to vote against his re-election at Sky’s annual general meeting but majority of independent votes cast supported the re-election.
We’ve had a strong start to our new financial year with good revenue. Jeremy Darroch, chief executive of Sky.
KING OF THE CASTLE: The popularity of Game of Thrones led to a rise in revenue, profit and customer numbers at broadcasting giant Sky.