British Sky Broadcasting customer base shoots up 17%

British Sky Broadcasting reported that it added 90,000 net customers across all its services in the fourth quarter, raising its total subscribers to 8.6 million, a 17% increase for the year, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said shares in the pay-TV operator rose after it said that it added a record 349,000 new customers in the three months to June 30 across its 'triple play' offering of high-speed Internet access, pay TV and landline telephone service. That was a 20% increase over the year.

Churn fell to 12.8% compared to 13.7% in the previous quarter, the report added.

Richard Hunter at Hargreaves Lansdown Securities was quoted by the report as saying that BSkyB's numbers were impressive and left the company well positioned to reach its target of 10 million subscribers by 2010.

The report said the number of Sky Broadband customers rose 57% to 716,000 during the quarter, according to the company said, and its telephone service rose above half a million customers after adding 171,000.

Average revenue per user jumped 21 pounds ($42.60) to 412 pounds ($835), the company added.

Shares in BSkyB, which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. with a 39% stake, rose 4%, the Associated Press report further said.