Sky TV tries to shrug off a huge drop in subscribers


Pay-TV operator Sky Network Television expects subscriber numbers to decline further this financial year, causing earnings next year to miss analysts’ expectations.

The company forecast it would have 830,000 subscribers at the end of its financial year on June 30.

Subscriber numbers dropped 1.5 percent last financial year to 851,561.

It expects to lose 45,000 core residential pay-TV subscribers this year and gain about 25,000 subscribers for its online services such as Neon and FanPass.

Sky TV retained its forecast for 2016 earnings, which it said in February would see net profit at the lower end of its previously advised range of $153m-$158m, down from $172m last year.

However, it said the loss of subscribers would “adversely impact” its 2017 earnings compared to current analyst consensus estimates.

The company, facing increased competition from online rivals, didn’t detail the estimates.

Analysts expect the company’s net profit to fall to $155m in 2016, and decline further to $146m in 2017, according to the mean forecast in a Reuters survey.

Sky is losing its dominant hold on premium content with the introduction of online streaming video services such as Netflix and Spark New Zealand’s Lightbox offering.

It retains rugby rights, which are seen as a linchpin in securing domestic viewers and the company attributed the forecast loss in subscribers for this year in part to churn following the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

No rugby, no Sky.

A straw poll of Whaleoil readers indicated that there was going to be a sizeable exodus after the Rugby World Cup, and it appears that’s exactly what’s happened.


– Newshub


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  • If they dropped the cost of Fanpass, they would have a LOT more people signing up to it (but then if they did there would be a lot less people staying signed up to SkyTV)

  • CheesyEarWax

    Yes, I ditched Sky last month after 9 years. Got myself a Freeview Plus box, and kept my Netflix account. Haven’t missed it at all.

    • Wayne Hodge


  • rustyjohn58

    You got it. Fan pass is well done but should be about $35 a month on a 12 month contract.

  • one for the road

    Shame, they are going one way, the way of the buggy whip!! But if they listened to customers, realised what was happening around them, embraced the internet and unbundled the content into genres, say sport, or news or comedy, etc and charged For those genres , ie less than they do for the full monty, then they stand a good chance of remaining viable. I read through the 247 comments on the Stuff page and people had no sympathy, most had baled out or were about to bale out of their Sky subscription… Good riddance Sky

  • I had a sky chap around about a fortnight ago offering me Sky at a dirt cheap price. And the sports at not much more (would have worked out to about a fortnight of worth of FanPass had I said yes)

  • Christie

    I didn’t ditch SKY after the RWC. I still have it – mainly for Game of Thrones. But I’ll get rid of it after this series has finished. Have heard not so good things about Neon. And having sole coverage of the Olympics will not make me resubscribe. I’ll just watch Netflix a bit more.

    • I have Neon free on my broadband contract…’s not bad but their Android app needs work.

      (I use it with Chromecast)

  • Curly1952

    I only keep Sky for the rugby. Once that goes I go. Watch very little TV besides that

  • Wayne Hodge

    It is over priced and does not take account of viewer needs, with inflexible packages

  • one for the road

    If we could get the comedy channels and the worldnews channels elsewhere, We wouldbe long gone..

  • hookerphil

    I am only in because I need to get a replacement for MySky, we almost only watch recored stuff, most of it not Sky channels. Have almost now convinced myself to ditch the rugby and go to the club if need me.
    Not sure about the cost of that though, was in Christchurch 2 weeks ago and the meals and drinks came to $63, was very enjoyable and we did get free parking overnight for the camper van.

    • Carl

      Freeview do a box that lets you record channels.

    • Aichdee

      We use a Panasonic box that does the same, has more space, for Freeview…

    • FornaK

      You have a campervan to stay in at the rugby club rooms car Park?!
      What a brilliant idea!
      Ditch Sky, and get down tithe club rooms more. It’s much more social and you don’t have to worry about driving home!!

  • Dave

    Maybe Sky need to hire a heap of Ex “A Newspaper” sales people, they seem to have had similar experiences, selling the impossible.

  • Mark156

    we cancelled Sky this week after 3 reciever boxes and numerous complaints about reception problems.We have upgraded our broadband and may look at the VPN thingy.We,like many,only had it for the Rugby…

  • LesleyNZ

    Sky only allow 3 registered devices per account and only one device at a time to access their Sky Go and On Demand/live Sky TV. Sky need to change this policy. Also they have got to stop repeating/recycling programmes on the same channel and then screening the same programme on other channels.

  • GT

    Have not had sky for the last 5 years and have not missed a game I wanted to watch it is there if you want to find it. Now we have fibre it is even better.

  • johnandali

    We record the Sky programs that we like, and we watch them after dinner each night. But a few months ago, Sky changed its recording systems, and although it was good to see that we could record three channels at the same time instead of two, it was a nightmare trying to work our way through the revised recording process, particularly if we wanted to record the series or delete a program that we had seen. Even though we’re older, we are quite savvy with programming techniques, but when they changed to the new system they didn’t do it properly, and it can be frustrating to record a program and find there is no way to record the series. And after a lot of stuffing around, there is now a way of deleting a program. We’re now thinking seriously about ditching Sky, but I do enjoy the sports channels and the news channels. It’s a pity they seem to have changed the system without asking their loyal customers. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are losing older customers because they have simply made the system too fiddly.

  • Graeme

    Many of the sky channels are mainly repeat programmes and some consistently replayed time and time again on a specific channel. Take the sport channels, each one often has the same sporting item as the other ones . It is little wonder that usually make ma handsome profit by not obtaining newer versions of some of the detective series for instance. The new recording system i almost hopeless . Trying to record programmes you find that the recording fails and you get “L” for a reminder or else it takes 4 or 5 tries to get the recording to register properly. Hopeless.