LONDON — European pay TV giant Sky, which operates in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy, added 177,000 subscribers in the nine months ended March 31, taking its customer base to 21.7 million. Revenues increased by 5% to £8.72 billion ($12.5 billion), leading to a 12% rise in operating profit to £1.14 billion ($1.64 billion).
In the U.K. and Ireland, major developments including the launch in February of the advanced platform Sky Q, which allows customers to watch content seamlessly on a variety of devices in and out of the home. Sky also secured a deal to make it the exclusive home of Formula 1 racing coverage for six years starting from 2019.
In Italy, Sky inked a deal for the rights for this year’s UEFA’s European soccer championship, and Copa America Centenario, the soccer tournament for North and South American national teams, taking place in the U.S. later this year. In Germany, the uncertainty over the forthcoming auction of Bundesliga soccer rights poses a risk to Sky.
Sky recently inked a movie deal with Sony Pictures for all five countries that Sky operates in. It was its first pan-European movie pact with a Hollywood studio. Up until then, all movie deals with the Hollywood majors had been done on a country-by-country basis.
This week Sky unveiled a slate of six original drama productions. These included “Guerrilla,” its co-production with Showtime, which teams writer-director John Ridley with actor-exec producer Idris Elba. These join previously commissioned original dramas, including “Babylon Berlin” and “The Young Pope.”