BSkyB Says Sky+ HD DVR Service Now in Over 1 Million Households

--Nearly One in Five UK and Irish Households Now Have a Sky+ DVR
--Sky Anytime Push-VOD Service Used by Over 1 Million Households Each Week

UK satellite-TV provider, BSkyB, announced Thursday that its Sky+ HD service has now been deployed in over a million Sky households (1,022 million, compared to 465,000 this time last year), following record sales in the first three months of 2009. The company says that the growing popularity of HDTV has also contributed to the rapid growth of its Sky+ DVR service, which is incorporated in all Sky+HD boxes: including the Sky+ HD customer base, Sky says, the Sky+ DVR service (which is powered by technologies from NDS and OpenTV) added 406,000 net new subscribers during the quarter and is now in over 5 million homes--almost one in five homes in the UK and Ireland.

The growth of Sky+HD (it added 243,000 net new subscribers in Q1, 2009--representing a five-fold increase in the rate of growth over the year-ago quarter) was driven in part by Sky's decision to offer it for just £49 to new subscribers, starting in late January. The company says that the success of Sky+HD and Sky+ contributed to ongoing growth in its overall customer base, which grew by 80,000 to 9.318 million in the quarter. Sky launched its DVR-enabled HDTV service in May, 2006. According to the company, it offers 33HD channels and up to 400 hours of HD programming a day.

Sky also provided some figures on usage of the Sky+ DVR service and of Sky Anytime, the push-VOD service that it enables. According to the company:
--Sky View data shows that timeshifted viewing from the Sky+ planner accounted for 17% of all TV viewing for all individuals in the 5 million households equipped with Sky+.
--When timeshifted viewing is aggregated together, the Sky+ planner--if thought of as a personalized "best of" channel--is the most popular channel on the entire Sky platform, with a greater audience share than any terrestrial or digital channel.
--Across all Sky+ homes during the quarter, there were an average of 16.4 million instances of timeshifting each day, resulting in around four instances of timeshifting per Sky+ household daily (which equates to an average of 1 hour and 5 minutes of timeshifted viewing in each of those households each day).
--Sky Anytime is being used by over a million Sky households each week.
--In households that use the service, Sky Anytime has a viewing share of 2.5%, meaning that, for users of the service, it outperforms all non-terrestrial channels on the Sky platform.
--In providing an extra opportunity to view alongside the linear schedule, Sky+ and Sky Player, Sky Anytime has supported increased levels of overall viewing in Sky homes (the company says that active Sky Anytime households are watching, on average, 6% more TV than standard Sky+ homes).
--The most popular piece of content on the service during Q1 was the movie, "St. Trinians" (on Sky Movies), which was watched by a quarter of a million households.