Sky’s UK arm has enjoyed its highest customer growth and lowest churn for eleven years according to the firm’s latest market update.
127,000 new UK and Irish customers joined Sky in the third quarter of its financial year, a 41% increase on the previous year.
That figure includes customers signing up both to its main satellite-based pay-TV service and it’s low-cost, contract free NOW TV streaming service.
Chief Executive Jeremy Darroch hailed the division’s “stand-out” performance in a market which is seeing increasing competition from TalkTalk and BT, who both offer a ‘pay-lite’ mixture of free and subscription channels, plus Netflix.
Last year Sky bought out Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia to create one of Europe’s largest pay-TV operations.
Lower take up of subscription TV in both markets promises the enlarged group additional growth and allows it to pool investment both in technology and content.
One early example of this new multi-country approach is the Sky Atlantic drama Fortitude which aired simultaneously in all five of Sky’s territories and was well received by viewers in each.
The broadcaster is working on a number of other shows which it hopes will have similar cross-border appeal.
It also plans to bring the best features from each of its national operations – such as the ability to restart a film that’s already part-way through – to all customers.
Following its successful drive to get UK customers to connect their set top boxes to the internet so they can enjoy on demand boxes and Pay Per View films, Sky introduced the feature to Germany for the first time this quarter.
In Italy it says 32% of customers have now connected their boxes to the internet.
Sky Italia is set to follow its UK and German counterparts and launch its own NOW TV-like service later this year.
Last month Mr Darroch said such services allowed Sky to unlock “new and profitable” customers who would otherwise reject pay-TV.