What financial reports reveal about TV networks

At a glance, what financial reports reveal about television network companies

Associated Press

Companies with television networks have begun releasing their earnings reports for the latest quarter. Here's a look at reports for selected television network companies.

— Oct. 26: Comcast Corp., which owns NBC, got a boost from being the official broadcaster of the Olympics. Comcast says it took in $1.19 billion in revenue for the Olympics alone during the quarter, topping the $1.18 billion paid for the rights, though the company had expenses for camera crews, announcers and the like. Broadcast ad revenue at NBC more than doubled to $1.99 billion, and rose 9 percent excluding the Olympics. Ad revenue on pay TV networks such as Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and NBC Sports was up less than 1 percent to $807 million.

— Nov. 1: Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., the operator of pay-TV networks such as Food Network and HGTV, says net income grew 20 percent thanks to higher revenue from both advertising and distributor fees.

— Tuesday: News Corp., which owns the Fox network, says its broadcast television business saw operating income rise 17 percent. The company says revenue from fees that cable and satellite companies pay to carry its channels more than doubled from a year ago. It also saw increased local advertising, particularly for political ads. The gains were partly offset by lower national advertising revenue because of lower prime-time ratings and the Olympics on rival NBC.

Operating income at the cable network business grew 23 percent. At its U.S. pay TV networks, advertising revenue rose 8 percent, led by Fox News and its regional sports networks. Fees from distributors rose 16 percent domestically.

Discovery Communications Inc., the owner of pay-TV channels such as Discovery, TLC and Animal Planet, says net income declined 14 percent due in part to higher taxes and interest expenses. Its revenue held steady.

— Wednesday: Time Warner Inc. says its television networks such as HBO and TBS saw a 7 percent growth in the fees paid by cable and satellite distributors to carry the channels. Advertising revenue fell 1 percent at the networks, partly because of the timing of certain sports events on its channels.

— Broadcaster CBS Corp. says its third-quarter earnings rose 16 percent from a year ago as revenue inched higher, mostly helped by higher fees from TV distributors.

— Thursday: The Walt Disney Co. says revenue at its pay TV and broadcast networks grew a modest 2 percent. Smaller audiences and lower ad revenue at ABC slowed the company's momentum. At the same time, ESPN gained more in fees from distributors but saw flat ad revenue as viewers and advertisers turned their attention toward the Olympics on NBC.

Disney says losses grew at Hulu, the online video service it owns jointly with News Corp. and Comcast Corp., due to higher programming and marketing costs.

AMC Networks Inc. says net income fell 8 percent, hurt by a fee dispute with Dish Network LLC, while its revenue rose 17 percent. But its earnings and revenue were each significantly better than analysts expected

Coming up:

— Nov. 15: Viacom Inc.

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