UK broadcaster cited “good trading” across its territories, as it ordered six new high-end drama series.

Lucky Man

Sky added 177,000 new subscribers in the three months to end of March, but faced a larger number of customers cancelling their service in the UK and Ireland.

The pay-TV broadcaster hailed “good trading” across its markets, including Germany and Italy, but faced rising churn in the UK – 10.7% in the first quarter of 2016, compared to 10.1% over the same period last year.

The company said that this was due to limiting discounts for customers as it looked to increase take up of its premium Sky Q service.

“I wouldn’t read too much into this quarter either. It did feel at end of last year UK market was very promotional and we have rowed back on that a bit. Churn is less important as a metric than it was six or seven years ago,” said chief executive Jeremy Darroch.

The company, which now has 21.7m customers, increased operating profit 12% to $1.64bn (£1.14bn) over the past nine months and group revenues rose 5% to $12.53bn (£8.72bn) in that same period.

Earlier this week, Sky made a major bet on big-budget drama, ordering six high-profile commissions including Showtime co-pro Guerrilla, with Idris Elba, and Christina Hendricks-fronted Tin Star.

However, Darroch denied that this global drama push put it in competition with the likes of Netflix.

“The interesting thing about Netflix and Sky is they are highly complementary services. Customers take both. Sometimes when people characterise them as being at odds it is a mistake,” he said.

This article originally appeared on Screen’s sister publication Broadcast.