What financial reports reveal about TV networks
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Companies with television networks have begun releasing their earnings reports for the latest quarter. It generally covers the April-June period, though some companies have fiscal quarters that depart from that.
Here’s a look at reports for selected television network companies:
— July 31: Discovery Communications Inc., owner of pay TV channels including Discovery, TLC and Animal Planet, says second-quarter net income rose 15 percent on rising ad sales, subscription fees and subscribers. Audiences increased and costs declined at the company’s joint venture, the Oprah Winfrey Network. The company says the struggling channel remains on track to be profitable in the second half of next year.
— Aug. 1: Time Warner Inc. says revenue at its television networks grew 4 percent to $3.6 billion, in part from higher rates paid by cable and satellite TV companies to carry CNN, TBS and other channels. Time Warner also saw growth in HBO subscribers and benefited from higher ad rates and an increase in the number of NBA games shown on its channels. But ad revenue fell at its domestic news networks.
Comcast Corp. says profits fell at the cable networks, which include Bravo, MSNBC and CNBC, as expenses to produce and acquire programs grew. The company says NBC is doing better than expected with the London Olympics and no longer believes it will take a big loss.
— Aug. 2: CBS Corp. says net income rose 8 percent, beating analysts’ expectations, even as advertising revenue fell and it took in less money from the sale of program reruns.
Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., the operator of pay TV networks such as Food Network and HGTV, says net income grew 84 percent thanks to higher revenue from advertising and distributor fees.
— Aug. 3: Viacom Inc. says revenue fell 5 percent at its TV networks as U.S. advertising fell 7 percent. Viacom has been struggling with a ratings decline for key channels, particularly Nickelodeon. It says it’s investing aggressively to create new hits. TV accounts for two-thirds of Viacom’s overall revenue and nearly all of the profits. Viacom also owns MTV and Comedy Central.
— Tuesday: The Walt Disney Co. says revenue from TV businesses such as ESPN and ABC rose 3 percent to $5.08 billion. Ad revenue at ESPN rose in the “mid-teen” percentages thanks to higher prices, sales volume and bigger audiences.
— Wednesday: News Corp. (Fox owner)
— Thursday: AMC Networks Inc.
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