Time Warner Divisions Air Solid Q1, Uptick In Ad Revs

Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting division had mid-level percentage advertising revenue gains in the first quarter, due in part, to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in March.

Ad revenues climbed 5% or $51 million during the period. At the same time subscription revenue improved 7% or $85 million. Total revenue added on $123 million, a 5% gain to $2.6 billion.

Turner says the NCAA Tournament delivered the four most-viewed college basketball games ever on a cable television network, as well as a 42% increase in live video streams and 12% rise in cross platform unique users compared to last year.

HBO’s revenues grew 9% ($111 million) to $1.3 billion -- coming from an 8% gain ($85 million) in subscription revenues and 13% hike ($24 million) in TV content sales revenues.

Warner Bros. studio revenues improved 14% ($385 million) to $3.1 billion, mainly due to a stronger theatrical slate led by “The LEGO Movie” ($450 million in worldwide box office sales)  and “300: Rise of an Empire” ($330 million in worldwide box office sales).

Time Inc.’s revenues inched up 1% ($8 million) to $745 million as a result of the acquisition of Time Inc. Affluent Media Group (formerly American Express Publishing Corporation) and from certain weekly titles having one additional issue. Time Inc. will be spun off as a separately traded company.

Taking out that AMG purchase, Time Inc.’ revenues would have declined 5%, Subscription revenues would have been flat and advertising revenues would have decreased 7%.

Overall, Time Warner revenues were 9% higher to $7.5 billion with net income at $1.3 billion, almost double that of its $754 million level in the first quarter of 2013. Mid-day trading of Time Warner’s stock was up 0.4% to $64.98.

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