Sky TV profit down 21 per cent; 27,897 subscribers exit

Author
Matthew Theunissen, NZ Herald,
Section
Business,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 22 August 2017, 9:52AM
Sky TV has announced a 20 per cent net profit decrease in the year to the end of June. Photo / File
Sky TV has announced a 20 per cent net profit decrease in the year to the end of June. Photo / File

Sky TV's profit dropped 20.9 per cent in the year to the end of June.

The pay TV released its full year results this today, which showed a net profit of over $116.3 million, down from $147.1m in the prior year.

Chief executive John Fellet, in the announcement, immediately pointed to Sky's failed attempt to merge with Vodafone New Zealand, which was rejected by the Commerce Commission earlier this year.

"I will not waste time lamenting over what I think was a flawed decision by the Commerce Commission," he said, adding that attempting to appeal the decision would be "torturous".

"However, as time went by it became apparent that we could action many of the opportunities and synergies through commercial agreements without the escalating costs of a merger. Some of these are in the market now, and you will see further proof points of the closer working relationship in the foreseeable future."

Sky's total revenue decreased to $893.5m from $928.2m on the same period last year.

The company's total subscriber base dropped from 852,679 in June 2016 to 824,782 this year.

Its revenue decline resulted from a 1.9 per cent decrease in residential digital Sky earnings ($157.2m from $160.3m in 2016), a 4.2 decrease from MySky ($567.9m down from $592.8m) and 3.7 per cent decrease in "other" subscription revenue ($82.2m to $79.3m).

Advertising revenue dropped 8 per cent and "installation and other revenue" 17 per cent.

Fellet said despite the internet opening numerous new business models for accessing content, traditional linear viewing was still the most dominant way people watched television and would remain so for some years.

"But what we are witnessing is a transition, and at Sky we are clear that VOD [video on demand] is the future. It is already the most disrupting force in television viewing.

"While now is not the time for a massive conversion of our core business, as a significant number of our customers still rely on our satellite-delivered service for their sports, news and entertainment, we are embracing the opportunity to compete in new media models."

He added that "piracy" had become Sky's biggest competitor and the company had been playing a "cat and mouse" game with pirates since the start of pay television.

"However, theft of service has become more sophisticated and commonplace at the same time. The big problem is the increasing ease by which pirated content is accessible."

He said there was also a trend of news media taking clips of the best parts of Sky Sport content and placing them on their websites without permission.

"They do this without any compensation to the sporting codes or Sky," Fellet said.

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