Time Warner Posts Solid Results, Aided By NCAA

With the threat of Fox now over, after pulling its Time Warner offer the day before, Time Warner posted strong results for its second-quarter earning results -- including higher revenue for HBO and its Turner networks.

Time Warner reported a 3% higher quarterly revenue to $6.79 billion, with net income 10% higher to $850 million.

The gains were largely the result of increases from premium TV service HBO, which witnessed a 17% revenue gain to $1.4 billion. Breaking this down, HBO subscription revenue rose 10% (or $101 million) and content revenue soared 56% ($98 million), with licensing of HBO content to Amazon Prime as a big driver.

Turner networks inched up by 5% to $2.75 billion, with 8% growth ($99 million) coming from subscription revenues and a 1% hike ($13 million) in advertising revenues.  

Advertising in the period benefited from two 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship tournament semifinal games and higher pricing. Some of this was offset by lower audience delivery and demand.

In terms of the current scatter period, Time Warner executives say scatter pricing is up in the third quarter, but not higher volume -- in general, what has existed through most of the current TV season for many networks. Company executives expect third-quarter volume will be “flat to down in the single digits [percentages].”

Warner Bros. witnessed revenues sinking 2% ($71 million) to $2.9 billion due to tougher comparisons to a year ago when the studio’s theatrical slate included “Man of Steel,” “The Hangover Part III” and “The Great Gatsby.”

Time Warner stock was down 12%, from $74.89 in midday Wednesday trading.

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