Sky intends to trim approximately 1,000 positions in the UK this year as part of its transition towards offering more internet-oriented services rather than traditional satellite-based ones.
A substantial portion of these job reductions is expected to impact engineers, given the diminishing demand for installing satellite dishes at residential properties. With Sky’s current workforce in the UK comprising around 26,000 employees, the announced cuts represent about 4% of its total staff.
The increasing availability of digital products has enabled many customers to independently set up new services without the need for professional installation. According to a Sky spokesperson, the growing preference for Sky Glass and Sky Stream, which do not necessitate specialised installation, has prompted the company to reassess the required workforce to deliver its services effectively.
Employees affected by the workforce reductions will undergo a consultation period, during which they can provide feedback on the proposed changes before any final decisions are made.
Since its acquisition by the US media conglomerate Comcast for over £30 billion in 2018, Sky has been undergoing strategic transformations. Despite the workforce reduction, the company continues to expand its operations, with plans to create 2,000 jobs at its new film and TV studios located in Elstree, Hertfordshire.
In a related development, Channel 4 recently revealed its intentions to trim 200 jobs, constituting approximately 18% of its workforce, as it shifts its focus towards digital services. Chief Executive Alex Mahon attributed the decision to the economic downturn and changing advertising landscapes, emphasising the necessity of prioritising digital offerings in response to market dynamics.
Channel 4 aims to bolster its digital revenues, which accounted for 27% of its total revenues last year, with the objective of surpassing the 50% mark by 2030.
The job cuts at Sky and Channel 4 underscore the ongoing shifts in the media landscape, driven by changing consumer preferences and technological advancements. As more viewers opt for internet-based streaming services over traditional television, media companies are adjusting their operations and workforce to align with evolving market demands.
The decisions made by Sky and Channel 4 reflect broader industry trends, highlighting the imperative for media organisations to adapt and innovate in response to the evolving media consumption habits of audiences.