‘Game of Thrones’ Helps Boost Sky Subscriber Growth in Latest Quarter

European pay TV titan Sky on Thursday reported improved financials for its first fiscal quarter and said it signed up more customers than in the year-ago period, helped by the latest season of HBO hit drama Game of Thrones.

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox owns a 39 percent stake in Sky, led by CEO Jeremy Darroch, and in December struck a deal to take full control. The U.K. government has been reviewing the deal and recently asked the Competition and Markets Authority to do a more in-depth review of the deal’s effects on media plurality and editorial standards.


Sky’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the quarter that ended on Sept. 30 rose 11 percent to £582 million.


The company signed up 160,000 new customers in the latest quarter, compared with 134,000 in the year-ago period. The company said that improved performance was “helped by strong campaigns in all markets around Game of Thrones 7,” which airs on its Sky Atlantic channel.


“We grew well in Germany & Austria adding 90,000 new customers, up 84 percent and added 70,000, up 100 percent, in the U.K. & Ireland,” Sky said. “In Italy, our customer base remained flat versus the fourth quarter.”


Sky CEO Jeremy 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 continued: “Against the backdrop of pressure on consumer spending and lower spend on U.K. television advertising, we were particularly pleased with our own EBITDA growth of 15 percent in our established business. We continue to see good demand for our products and services with 51 percent more new customers joining Sky than a year ago; we surpassed the milestone of 60 million subscription products; and pay-as-you-go sports and entertainment buys grew by 12 percent to 9.6 million.”



Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: HBO; SKY
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