Parks Associates Blog

Saturday, January 31, 2009

BSkyB's Earnings Report: Glimmers of Hope?

If you're a fan of sweaters and haggis (and looking for work), BSkyB is hiring!

We resolved this week that we would do our best to report on some positive news coming from the digital lifestyles industry. Let's face it - this past week has been a beat-down, with news of more job shedding taking place. Certainly, 2009 is starting rough, but we think that there are some positive things to note.

BSkyB's latest earnings report contained some good news. The satellite service provider netted 170,000 new customers in Q4, and it is the U.K.'s fastest growing broadband and telephone service provider. The company credits its high-definition offerings (Sky+ HD) and its bundling opportunities as growth catalysts. Sky notes that seven million U.K. households have HD-ready TVs, and this is expected to double by the end of the decade. Sky also has room to significantly expand its bundled customers. Currently, only 13% of Sky customers are triple-play customers.

Here's an interesting statistic: average TV viewing in the U.K. grew 3% in 2008, to 3.7 hours per day.

Although we are all going to feel the pinch of the economic downturn, it will be interesting to track the results from service providers around the world and see how they're faring. As Jayant Dasari wrote earlier in the week, Verizon's fourth-quarter earnings report had some positive news, and both AT&T and Verizon are looking to their wireless business to boost their revenues. So far, that business appears healthy. On the cable side, Time Warner Cable will report on February 4, and Comcast will report on February 18. We'll be interested to see those results.

We had written back in December about the opportunities presented with service providers to deliver value-based bundles and to up their in-home entertainment offerings as consumers look to hunker down, reduce out-of-home expenditures, and take advantage of their high-definition TVs and home theater systems.

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