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Sky strikes Sony movie deal

Sky has struck a major movie deal with Sony Pictures Television and acquired a raft of key rugby rights as its pay TV platform recorded stable growth in its latest results.

The Sony deal is the latest agreement with a Hollywood studio that gives the News Corp-backed company access to first run movies including Men In Black 3, The Amazing Spider-man and Django Unchained less than six months after they have aired in the cinema.

This follows similar deals with NBC Universal and Warner Bros as it looks to compete aggressively with new digital services including Netflix and Amazon-backed Lovefilm.

The company added 25,000 subscribers to its traditional service in the first half of its fiscal year, with an additional 25,000 subs for its nascent streaming service Now TV. This takes the total TV subs to 10.33 million.

Sky’s revenues increased by 5% to £3.5 billion in the six months to December, while operating profit also grew by 8% to £647 million.

The company also announced that Tom Mockridge, who was previously chief executive of News Corp’s publishing arm in the UK, has left the board and has been replaced by News Corp deputy chairman and chief operating officer Chase Carey.

“Although we expect the consumer environment in 2013 to remain challenging, we have a strong set of plans for the year ahead. We will keep getting better on screen, further improve our products and services for customers and maintain our focus on efficiency. The business is in good shape to continue to deliver for customers and shareholders,” said BSkyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch.

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