Comcast has revealed that its European pay-TV broadcaster Sky has been far from immune to the headwinds of coronavirus, with the pandemic putting a significant drag on subscription and advertising revenues.
In the three months to the end of June 2020, Sky’s total revenue dropped 15.5% to $4.1BN, with deep declines in income across its subscription, advertising, and content revenue streams.
Advertising revenue collapsed by 43% to $321 in the second quarter, while Sky’s direct-to-consumer segment fell 9.4% to $3.5BN.
Comcast said COVID-19 resulted in “lower sports subscriptions revenues” which means people were canceling their subs while big-ticket events, including the Premier League, were put on hiatus.
Content revenue was also hit by the lack of sports programming, declining 35.7% to $234M over the three-month period. Meanwhile, Sky’s adjusted EBITDA decreased by 2.9% to $749M.
Comcast said Sky’s “total customer relationships” stood at 23.7M in Q2, which was down 214,000 on the same three months in 2019. Again, the U.S. company blamed the drop on the devastated sports sector.