Comcast’s British TV giant Sky is cutting about 1,000 roles at it pivots away from the satellite dish and towards a streaming model, Deadline has confirmed.
The Financial Times, which broke the story, reported the cuts represent about 4% of Sky’s 27,000 staff in the UK, and we understand that figure is accurate, dependent on the results of consultations. The layoffs will be made across 2024.
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Most of cuts will come from Sky’s engineering division, many of whom are staff who make home visits to install satellite dishes and fix wired issues. With Sky pivoting to a streaming model through products such as Sky Glass, a strategic decision has been made to cut staff.
A Sky spokesperson said: “The launch of Sky Glass and Sky Stream represents a shift in our business to deliver TV over IP [an internet connection] rather than satellite. Increasingly, customers are choosing Sky Glass and Sky Stream which don’t require specialist installation, and that has led us to change the number of roles we need to deliver our services.”
Sky has been steadily moving away from its once all-powerful satellite pay-TV model as appetite for streaming has grown across Europe. It’s understood a majority of Sky’s new TV customers are not choosing IP products, with the Sky Glass TV among the UK’s top sellers last year.
The news comes soon after UK and Ireland CEO Stephen van Rooyen announced he is exiting the business. Sky’s operations in those countries are now reporting directly into Sky Group CEO, Dana Strong.
The cuts also come in the same week Channel 4 announced it was axing around 15% of its staff, in a move that will reposition the broadcaster as a streaming-first operation by 2030. Channel 5 owner Paramount is also reducing headcount globally.
Comcast paid $40B for Sky in 2018 in what remains among the biggest ever deals for a UK media business.
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