TV Guide Bleeds Money, Sees Hope In Its Network
CFO Bedi Singh said on a conference call, however, that Gemstar-TV Guide (which is for sale) does project the red ink will be increasingly less severe over that period. Losses in fiscal 2007 could be as high as $28 million, but that would be lower than projections as high as $35 million.
The losses come despite a 16% increase in ad revenues and 25% jump in pages sold in the just-completed quarter, versus the same period a year ago.
Separately, on the plus side, the company's re-branded TV Guide Network, which is increasingly focused on original programming, saw revenue nudge up by 3%. The goal, Singh said, is to shift the channel away from its traditional core competency of information about where/when programs are on to "an entertainment destination." Distribution is up 5% from a year ago to 82 million homes.
CEO Rich Battista, who joined Singh on the call to discuss second-quarter results, said sales of packages for the network's coming coverage of the Emmy awards--including its well-known "Red Carpet" presentation--are up 33% versus last year. Prices are also up, he said, and six new advertisers are on board, including Pfizer, Unilever and MasterFoods.
The parent company has been plugging its cross-platform marketing opportunities covering the magazine, network and Web sites to media buyers. It plans to elevate the TV Guide brand to the public via what it labels a "major national consumer marketing campaign" this fall.
Overall for the second quarter, Gemstar-TV Guide reported revenues of $155.6 million--up 17% versus the same period a year ago--with net income up 42%. Much of that growth was fueled by licensing technology for interactive program guides.