No wonder Rupert Murdoch is so keen to own BSkyB outright. Having invested so heavily in technology, from digital switch-over right through to 3D, Murdoch wants to reap his investment. Sky’s annual turnover in its last financial year to June 2010 was £5.9 billion. It’s estimated this will grow to over £8 billion by 2016. BSkyB, the UK pay-TV operator, had expected to hit 10 million by the end of this year. Instead, it announced it had achieved the target this morning. Steve Liechti, media analyst with Investec tells me the long-term target looked almost impossible when James Murdoch set it back in August 2004, when subscriber numbers were at 7.4 million. At that point subscriber numbers were only inching up. Compared to the old management – which had just been fixated on share price – James Murdoch spent heavily on new technology including HD. Around a third of customers have now upgraded to HD, while almost 25% take Sky’s broadband and home phone package. “It show how successful the dual approach of ‘halo’ product such as HD and 3D and ‘value’ product strategy has been,” Liechti tells me.
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