The sale of original Sky dramas such as Patrick Melrose and Catherine The Great to international broadcasters helped boost the company’s third quarter financials but the Comcast-owned broadcaster was hit by falling advertising revenues and currency fluctuations.
The pay-TV broadcaster, which operates in the UK, Germany and Italy, saw revenue fall by 4.2% to $4.6B over its third quarter. It noted that excluding the impact of currency, revenue increased by 0.9%, driven by higher direct-to-consumer and content revenue.
The company noted that it was helped by its “direct-to-consumer” drive, which includes its streaming service Now TV as well as its traditional pay-TV services, helping DTC revenue increase by 1.9% to $3.8B with more customer relationships, although this was partially offset by a decrease in average revenue per customer relationship, an impact of subscribers taking cheaper packages.
Content revenue increased 15.4% to $315M, driven by sales of its original programming and the wholesaling of sports programming.
Sky recently closed down its seven-year old sales and content arm Sky Vision, folding it into the wider NBCU distribution group, but not before Jane Millichip’s division hit its $247M revenue target two years ahead of schedule.
This growth, however, came as advertising revenue fell 13.8% to $446M, as a result of changes to to gambling advertisements in the UK and Italy, as well as overall market weakness.
Sky’s third quarter financial results came out as part of Comcast’s financial reporting.