Sky in co-production deal with HBO

Sky profits fall amid rising Premier League costs and weaker advertising market

Sky in co-production deal with HBO

Over the past twelve months, Sky plc added 769,000 new customers, including growth of 106,000 in the third quarter, and taking total customer base to 22.4 million households.

"We launched Sky Mobile to create a substantial new source of revenue and profits", said Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive.

Sky shares edged 0.1% higher in early European trading to 983 pence in London Thursday, but have have lost 1.7% over the past three months.

Both Sky and HBO would like to approve two drama series per year, the first is expected to be broadcast in 2018.

The pay-television provider reported operating profit of GBP1.01 billion for the nine months to the end of March, down from GBP1.14 billion the prior year.

Revenues for the nine months were up by 11 per cent with strong profit growth of £64 million in Italy and £43 million in Germany and Austria.

Sky said that revenues in the United Kingdom had increased by 4pc over the period to £6.4bn.

Outside of the United Kingdom, revenue and profits in the company's newer markets of Germany and Italy delivered a strong performance for the period, with Sky signaling a positive outlook for the final quarter of its fiscal year and further ahead.

Sky has announced a multi-year co-production deal worth £195m with U.S. television network HBO, which will see the pair produce "high-end drama".

In its home United Kingdom market, Sky said it had outperformed a weak advertising environment and declared itself to be "pleased with the initial response" to its recent entry into the United Kingdom mobile phone market.

Darroch said that, looking forward, the company was entering the final quarter of its fiscal year in good shape. Going into production later this year, users will be able to virtually visit the Natural History Museum, with Sir David Attenborough as their guide.

The results come against the backdrop of the ongoing agreed takeover attempt by the Murdoch family's 21 Century Fox vehicle to secure the 61 percent of Sky that it doesn't already own for a bid price of £10.75 ($13.79).

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