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LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - BSkyB posted better-than-expected first-half operating profit after the British pay-TV operator sold an increasing number of HD TV services, more on-demand movies and box-sets at Christmas, in part offsetting higher sports rights costs.
The company reported operating profit of 595 million pounds ($985 million), down 8 percent, on revenue up 7.6 percent to 3.75 billion pounds for the six months to end-December on Thursday.
Profit at Britain's dominant pay-TV provider is being squeezed by higher costs for sports rights and marketing as it fends off more aggressive competition from BT and TalkTalk.
Analysts were expecting operating profit of 586 million pounds on revenue of 3.76 billion pounds, according to a company-supplied consensus of eight analysts.