Sky has released the results of a report into its economic impact in the UK, claiming that it contributes £5.4bn to national GDP, and generates some 120,000 jobs.
The report entitled ‘The Economic Impact of Sky on the UK’ was published by Oxford economics, and looks to show the positive economic impacts the 11 million subscriber strong pay TV broadcaster has on the economy.
"This report from Oxford Economics measures and explains the scale of our economic impact for the first time. We hope that Sky’s story provides a good example of the important contribution that a successful British company can make, particularly at a time when economic growth is harder to come by. As we look ahead, our appetite to invest remains strong and we hope to contribute even more in the future," said CEO Jeremy Darroch.
The company has been attached to negativity in the last year; Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation holds a 39.14% stake, and had been looking to take over the company entirely. Public and political backlash over the News Corp. owned News of the World’s hacking scandal saw the company withdraw its bid this time last year.
This PR exercise seems to be an attempt to distance the Sky brand from the controversy. The numbers do paint a picture of a company with a very strong national footprint.
Sky generated sales in 2011 of £6.4bn across all its arms, including broadband. Of its estimated £5.4bn contribution to GDP, Sky’s direct contribution is £2.2bn which it claims is equivalent to 40% of the contribution made by the entire TV and radio sector. It contributed £941m in taxes.
Sky currently employs 22,800 staff, including 800 in software development and testing, which it claims is around 1% of all people employed in the UK’s software development industry. The company has 2,600 people employed to produce and commission content, which will grow as it boosts investment in original British content to £600 million by 2014, up from £450m.
Sky has been extremely productive in the digital space over the last twelve months, producing its own iPad apps, and developing its own Internet TV online content download service to compete with Amazon’s LoveFilm and Netflix, alongside Sky Go, its online TV viewer. It also recently announced that it was burying the hatchet with the BBC, and will have access to its hugely popular BBC iPlayer service on Sky boxes.