Comcast-owned European pay-TV giant Sky’s revenue enjoyed a return to form in the third quarter of 2020 after its sales were hit by the coronavirus pandemic earlier in the year.
Buoyed by the Premier League’s restart in mid-June, Sky’s revenue climbed 0.3% to a total of $4.8BN in the three months to the end of September, compared with the same period last year.
Content sales were the main driver, rising 17.5% to $388M in Q3, as Comcast said it secured “higher wholesale revenue from sports programming as European football leagues resumed.”
Ad revenue fell 1.2% to $462M over the quarter, but this was a significant improvement on the 43% collapse in Q2, when advertisers ripped up spending plans at the height of the pandemic.
Comcast said Sky’s “total customer relationships” dropped 21,000 to 23.7M in Q3. Again, this was an improvement on the previous quarter when customer relationships fell by 214,000.
Despite the positives, Comcast blamed “higher programming and production expenses” of sports restarting for a big drop in adjusted EBITDA, which fell 42.8% to $515M.