Sky Go Extra hits a million, as BSkyB snaps up European counterparts

Sky Go Extra hits a million, as BSkyB snaps up European counterparts
Sky aiming to be the 500-pound gorilla in European media

More than a million Brits have signed up for the Sky Go Extra service in the past year, aiding the media giant to another impressive year despite the rising cost of Premier League football rights.

On the day in which BSkyB confirmed that it was buying 100% of Sky Italia and 57.4% of Sky Deutschland from 21st Century Fox, the company also revealed annual figures which show a decline in operating profit but significant growth in subscribers.

The amount of people signing up for Sky's core television service has increased in the past 12 months while more people are opting for Sky's broadband and telephony services.

Costly business

The increasingly buoyant Sky has had to fend off competition in its core are of football broadcasting this year from BT, as well as spend heavily on its connected TV services.

But although those costs have put a dent in profitability, the company reported the highest growth in its customer base in three years.

Some of Sky's more ambitious projects appear to have hit the mark - the extra money required from customers to add Sky Go Extra's download service caused a minor storm at its inception, but a million extra subscribers suggest that being able to access content on devices offline is a big temptation.

And despite technophile doubts around the Buy & Keep service, allowing people to buy a digital download to their Sky+ HD box and receive a DVD through the post, this has also started well and could well gain traction when the digital download is available on devices rather than just a set top box.

The purchase of big European Sky brands Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland is significant to subscribers as it will bring even more power to buy in what, should it get the rubber stamp from authorities, will be a global media powerhouse.

But, for the UK, Sky's more than a billion pounds in profit and increased digital growth indicates a well-developed and tech savvy British audience.

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.