back to article BSkyB sees first half pre-tax profit tumble as sales climb

BT's intense campaign to draw more eyeballs away from BSkyB failed to hit the pay-TV company's revenues during the first six months of its financial year. But, while BSkyB - which is around 39 per cent owned by Rupert Murdoch - drove sales up more than 6 per cent to £3.7bn for the period ended 31 December, it did report a …

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Coat

if only they would offer

all their sport channels for £10 a month. Instead you have to pay for all that other crap.

The one with no Sky sub

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Re: if only they would offer

I was paying £10 a month through the Sky HD sub last year just so I could get F1. This has been changed now and I think the only way to watch F1 is through a sports subscription or the £10 a race fee. Not good.

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Re: if only they would offer

I queried this as there's much cheaper ways to get everything but Sky Sports F1 but, as you say, adding F1 back on is prohibitively expensive and you're best staying with the legacy package and not changing if you want to keep it. Also, it costs £22 a month even if you have got everything else, so I don't rate your chances of getting Sports only for £10 a month. Your best bet will be Now TV which currently does single day passes for the Sport channels, but where I can see a weekly/monthly pass coming along soon.

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Re: if only they would offer

They changed that last year already when they changed the Entertainment packages and got rid of the HD sub (or rather - reintroduced it with another name, and minus Sky F1), and Sky Sports was already compulsory if you wanted Sky F1. I called them and got a decent discount (20% off TV for 6 months) so signed up to Sky Sports for the 2nd half of the season, and called them again to cancel when there was just under a month to go.

I should finally be able to get Fibre broadband in March, so I may try and negotiate a good broadband + sports TV deal then, otherwise it'll be BBC+streams. Having said that I have noticed today that my ADSL connection has been up and running for 57 days so I might just stick to that.

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Re: if only they would offer

"I should finally be able to get Fibre broadband in March, so I may try and negotiate a good broadband + sports TV deal then, otherwise it'll be BBC+streams. Having said that I have noticed today that my ADSL connection has been up and running for 57 days so I might just stick to that."

That's what I did in December when my exchange went live with fibre (FTTC). Called them up to find line speed after I had placed order (at time of order they could not give me an estimated speed even as the exchange had literally just gone live a few hours earlier) where they told me I would only get 22Mb on fibre when I already got 16Mb on DSL! Told them to cancel the order & refund me the £50 for the Hub2 (as they call it). The cancellations guy looked at my account and told me that he would set the price of the Fibre at the same as I was already paying for DSL, so essentially it was "free" other than the £50 "setup" charge (which is to pay for the router as self install package). When the Fibre went live, I have had 33Mb down & 6.8Mb up from day one (which is not far off the maximum for the exchange as the 70Mb service is not available on it yet for some reason with any provider including BT).

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Anonymous Coward

They might not be losing punters, but they're clearly having to drastically cut prices to retain them. Long-term that means less dosh to spend on sports rights, so these results are still music to Buzby's ears.

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MJI
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They screw up FTA broadcasters

New series comes onto free to air TV, we watch it and want to know what happens, then these gits come along and outbid on it so we have to resort to torrenting to continue watching.

My first ever torrent was Farscape Peace Keeper Wars, after watching 4 series on BBC2. This introduced me to torrents.

Torrents were visited again for Lost until I gave up during the penultimate series.

So to Sky please eff off and leave our TV alone.

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Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters

When did BBC become free to air?

I pay money for it, even if I don't watch it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters

And without torrents there's cardsharing :)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters @MJI 11:57

No ire for the producers/distributors - dunno what the term is - who chose to go with the highest bidder then?

"... have to resort to torrenting to continue watching." - or wait and buy the DVD.

"Torrents were visited again for Lost until I gave up during the penultimate series." - for the same reason, or could you get new seasons earlier that way?

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Silver badge

Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters

My first ever torrent was Farscape Peace Keeper Wars, after watching 4 series on BBC2. This introduced me to torrents.

Farscape (the TV series) was cancelled because not enough people watched it, and they couldn't make enough money selling it to foreign networks to make a 5th series.

When they realised there was some latent interest in it, a subscription TV channel, Syfy, commissioned a mini-series. They could afford to produce this by selling it to interested networks around the world.

So, you complain about Sky "screwing up the FTA broadcaster", but your example is shitty - the show was cancelled before it went on to Sky, and the follow up mini series that you "had" to torrent could only come into being because of the existence of commercial channels like Sky which could buy it.

PS: You didn't "have to" torrent it. You could have subscribed to Sky if you absolutely had to watch it the very day it was broadcast. You could have not watched it all. You could have waited the 51 days between Sky broadcasting it, and 5 broadcasting it on FTA.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters

When did BBC become free to air?

I pay money for it, even if I don't watch it.

Free To Air means that it isn't encrypted, anyone with a suitable receiver can receive it.

You pay a lot more towards Sky and the ITV companies,.even if you never watch them, though advertising of products you buy, since part of the purchase price of the producs funds the adverts. Over the whole year, an everage household pays 4x as much to fund advertisers as it does for a TV licence.

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FAIL

Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters

And without torrents there's cardsharing :)

And with torrents and cardsharing there's not enough money to pay for the series, so they get cancelled. Well done you.

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MJI
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Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters

I am surprised you know the dates, also no way was I going to sign up for a year for one programme.

C5 as well has that moronic 5 in the corner.

And I saw it before Murdoch vision showed it.

And I had the DVD before C5 showed it.

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MJI
Silver badge

Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters @MJI 11:57

I was OK watching Lost on C4, but I stopped watching torrents before it finished because it went crap, sitting in a hole pushing a big wheel about, and more and more confusing storylines, so confusing it confused the writers.

BBC had the right idea with Heroes get exclusive deal for life of programme.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters

I am surprised you know the dates, also no way was I going to sign up for a year for one programme.

I had never even heard of the programme, wikipedia listed all the dates, when it aired in US, when it aired on Sky, when it aired on UK FTA..

C5 as well has that moronic 5 in the corner.

Well, they did pay for it..

And I saw it before Murdoch vision showed it.

So before Murdoch bought it, you had already seen it, and this is Murdoch's fault that you couldn't watch it on FTA?

And I had the DVD before C5 showed it.

Impressive - UK DVD release was after 5 aired it.

Basically, you love the show, but there is no way you'd pay anything to watch it, including just waiting for a FTA broadcaster showing it and then watching it (which increases viewers for the channel, increases the value of their ad slots, increases revenue and allows new shows to be commissioned or bought.)

Fucking Murdoch ruining your shows though, amirite?

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MJI
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Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters

Actually DVD release was before C5 I do remember that, and I suppose I contributed to the first 4 series by watching on a free to air and ad free channel with anamorphic widescreen on the last widescreen series and no moronic logo.

And I did pay I bought the effing DVD box set!

Used to sit down after tea and watch this. And later on Star Trrek Enterprise on C4.

When you get used to BBC you get annoyed with other broadcasters!

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Anonymous Coward

Platform and broadcaster lock in

Sky are all well and good but i absolutely hate the way they lock in their premium channels to their physical platform.

The OFT needs to separate the two arms of the company so that the competition can bid fairly to carry their output as a broadcaster.

E.G. Sky Atlantic is only available via Sky Sattelite or Now TV - nobody else can afford their astronomical and unrealistic (alegedly) asking price for carriage.

This new ITV Encore deal locks everyone else for 4 years.

Apart from BT who are throwing good money after bad with their sports deals, nobody else even remotely comes close to being able to throw cash at this to beat Sky. Virgin ditched their own channels when they realised it cost too much to bid for first run rights for shows.

I long for a day when I can subscribe to whomeever I like to get the channels I want like I can in the US, France, etc.

Instead, to get Sky Atlantic I have to get a Sattelite dish on my house or downgrade to SD and stereo and use a NowTV box.

Furthermore, their deliberate overpricing of their Sports pass on NowTV stinks - £10 a day? F*** of*

They have only done that to make their Sky Sports bundle seem cheap.

Also the fact that you have to pay extra to get exatly the same content but a bit sharper.

It's time the OFT or whoever broke up Sky or forced them to ensure their channels are on as many pay TV platforms as possible - just like Canal+ have to in France.

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Bronze badge

Sky signal around my parts is utter pants, as is anything via aerial. Fortunately we have cable, but as you say subscribing to VM excludes us from Atlantic (so no Game of Thrones etc). I'd be happy if Netflix got all the shows as they're far more affordable.

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"Sky signal around my parts is utter pants, as is anything via aerial."

Sky uses satellites so as long as you're within its footprint and with nothing in the line of sight you should have no problem receiving it. The only people who would get a poor signal are those living outside of the UK on the fringe areas of coverage.

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Re: Platform and broadcaster lock in

"Sky are all well and good but i absolutely hate the way they lock in their premium channels to their physical platform."

This has always been a bone of contention about Sky TV offerings and is actually against EU regulations regarding conditional access (and Sky still resist change despite an OfCom ruling against them on the matter). Sky say it is to prevent piracy, but that has backfired massively on them as their encryption system is now compromised and it would require replacement of every Sky STB in circulation to lock the stable door again, whereas had they gone down the DVB-CI route as they were supposed to then end-users would only be facing the replacement of the CAM module in their own hardware for the more secure DVB-CI+ versions.

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Silver badge

Current Sky Sports subscriber

But probably for not much longer - I get it for cricket, rugby and F1. Rugby is all going to BT - the clubs are refusing to play in the tournament Sky have rights to, and will set up a new competition televised by BT, F1 has been going steadily down hill since they banned refueling thus eliminating most of the tactics and strategy, and the less that is said about the cricket at the minute the better.

I'm really not keen on continuing to spaff £60+ a month, particularly when the vast majority of that cash is ending up subsidizing the Sky-BT football rights fight.

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Anonymous Coward

"around 39 per cent owned by Rupert Murdoch"

I think you'll find that it is 39% owned by News International, 14% of which is owned by the Murdoch family. That gives Murdoch only about a 5.5% share in BSkyB.

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F1.....!!!!

Judging by the lap times and reliability from Jerez, the best way to watch F1 from now on (Jonathon 29 etc.), regardless of how you get it, is at 2 x SPEEDED UP! Seriously, are SKY etc. going to be able to charge so much for 'The Pinnacle of Motorsport', once people realise that half a dozen other racing series are now just as fast and probably more entertaining?

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bex

sky broadband are they still awful?

My job is mostly home pc support and I have had dealings with sky broadband over the years and it was always a trial on the phone. With the onset of adsl2 and2+ people seem to have less connection problems these days so I have not had to talk to Sky for a customer for years.

My question is is Sky BB customer support as bad as always or have they got their finger out?

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Anonymous Coward

The solution!

If people want to get things back on FTA, then organize a mass boycott of pay channels. After a few weeks all that sport will miraculously go free to air to entice people to pay, It is the idiots who complain but still pay that is ruining TV for the masses. Sky and co. don't care if anybody watches, just so long as they make their money back.

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Re: The solution!

If you're referring to F1 like a few have here, I'm afraid these days have gone, and I'd point a finger at the FIA or whoever agreed to the Sky deal, not just Sky. In France Canal+ were hot on Sky's heels and snapped up the rights, and I believe similar deals have happened in other European countries now.

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Re: The solution!

The F1 on subscription TV is a bit of a red herring - all the deals struck in Europe are non-exclusive, with FTA terrestrial channels in the same territories getting rights to half the races live and the rest delayed. The BBC could (if it wanted to) show races they do not have live rights to delayed in their entirety (as RAI in Italy do, often to the benefit of the viewer for far-eastern races that would otherwise be broadcast at silly times in the morning) but choose to show a highlights program instead - a recognition that portions of the product are not worth broadcasting.

I suspect that when the time comes the contracts will not be renewed on the current terms.

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MJI
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Re: The solution!

Actually with the Red Bull/Sev Vettel dominance the problem has solved itself.

I just lost interest.

F1 was so much more exciting in the Senna Prost Mansell era, especially with Murray commentating.

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