BSkyB's total TV subscriber figure soars to over 10 million

Defying soaring competition in the broadcast and broadband market, BSkyB gained thousands of new TV customers in the three months to March, taking its total TV subscriber number to more than 10 million.

BSkyB, which saw rival firm BT encroaching on its traditional stronghold of sports coverage, claimed that it gained 74,000 new TV customers in the third quarter, which expanded its total TV subscriber base to 10.6 million.

Revenue in the nine-month period ended March 31 jumped 6.6 per cent year-on-year to £5.7 billion, though operating profit slipped 8.5 per cent to settle at £910 million because of soaring cost of TV sports rights.

BSkyB also claimed that nearly 50 per cent of Sky TV users were now linked to its broadband TV service that allows users to download programmes like Mad Men and Game of Thrones. The improvements were mainly due to the company's aggressive investments to offer more services.

Announcing the results, BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch said, "Our investment is delivering results. Connected customers are watching more TV, they are more loyal and they are more likely to recommend Sky."

The broadcaster and broadband service provider is facing increasing competition from BT, which has won TV rights to broadcast Champions League as well as Europa League football from 2015. But, BT remained lagging behind BKyB. BT gained 70,000 new broadband users in the quarter under review, down from the 152,000 it had signed in the year ago quarter.

In the after-hours trading, BSkyB shares gained 20½p to close at 900½p apiece.