Sky Claims It’s Worth £5.4b & 120,000 Jobs To UK Economy

Mike Wheatley

British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) has just announced the results of an in-depth report detailing its impact on the UK economy, with the bold claim that it helps generate almost 120,000 jobs whilst contributing a total of £5.4 billion to the country’s GDP. Published by the economic consultancy firm Oxford Economics, The Economic Impact of Sky on the UK attempts to outline the positive impacts made on the country’s economy by the broadcaster, which boasts around 11 million subscribers.

Sky claims it’s worth £5.4b & 120,000 jobs to UK economy

Jeremy Darroch, Chief Executive of Sky TV, made the following comments in an official press release:

“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.”

The report comes following a lot of negativity surrounding Sky in the past year. News Corporation, which is owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch and currently holds a 39.14% stake in Sky, was previously reported to be interested in mounting a full takeover of the broadcaster. Due to the political and public backlash over the News of the World hacking scandal, News Corp. later withdrew its bid for the company.

Many will see this latest PR exercise as an attempt by Sky to distance itself from controversy over News Corp., and the numbers certainly help to paint a rosy picture of a brand that’s had a very positive impact on society.

According to the report, Sky generated sales totalling £6.4 billion across all sectors in 2011, including its broadband arm. The broadcaster estimates that it supported a total contribution of £5.4 billion to the nation’s economy, of which £2.2 billion was a direct contribution from Sky. In addition, the company contributed £941 million directly in taxes paid.

As well its financial impact, Sky is also playing a big role on the employment front. The broadcaster currently employs some 22,800 staff directly, while it estimates it indirectly supports another 118,600 jobs via its employee’s consumer spending and its own procurement of goods and services. Sky further revealed that it employs 2,600 people in the role of producing and commissioning content, a figure that’s expected to grow significantly as the company ramps up spending on original British content to £600 million in 2014, up from the £450 million it spends currently.

The report follows an extremely productive twelve months for Sky in the digital space, during which time it has developed its own Internet TV download service to compete with the likes of Netflix and Amazon’s LoveFilm, and also produced its own iPad apps. And in one final piece of good PR news for the firm, Sky recently announced that it had put aside its differences with the BBC, a move which means Sky viewers will now be able to access the popular BBC iPlayer.