Although Time Warner cable network TNT continues to take a hit in its overall prime-time ratings, revenues for its cable networks division, including HBO, continue to climb.
In releasing its first-quarter 2012 results, Time Warner’s networks rose 3% to $3.6 billion. Advertising revenues grew 6%; subscription revenues tacked on 5%.
Much of the advertising hike comes from good pricing from the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. While nonsports TNT programming has taken a hit --- down by double-digit percentages since last September -- Time Warner says advertising sales from NBA regular-season games are up, as are ratings in key viewership categories.
The Time Warner network group’s operating income dipped 2% to $1.14 billion, mostly from higher programming costs.
Theatrical film revenues and TV licensing revenues grew 7% to $2.8 billion, thanks to solid theatrical releases, higher television licensing revenues and the subscription video-on-demand revenues of television series. Time Warner witnessed continued drops in home entertainment revenues.
The film unit’s big earners: “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” grossed nearly $535 million in worldwide box office receipts and “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” pulled in more than $320 million worldwide.
Magazine revenues sank 3% to $773 million; there was a 5% decline in advertising and 2% in subscription revenues.
Overall, Time Warner revenues were up 4% to $6.98 billion, and net income fell 11% to $581 million.