Hallmark Channels' Ad Revs Up 14%

Crown Media Holdings -- home of the Hallmark Channel and the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries -- continues to outperform the overall cable TV advertising marketplace, gaining double-digit ad revenue growth in consecutive quarters.

While most of the bigger TV network groups have seen weak or, at best, single-digit ad-revenue growth, Crown’s networks rose 14% in the first quarter to $78.4 million. The company says higher ratings at Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries were the reason.

For the first quarter, Crown Media reported revenue of $100.5 million, an 11% increase from $90.7 million in the first quarter of 2014. Net income grew by a a big 54% to $18.5 million.

Opening trading of the stock quickly rose 6% on Friday. Later-day trading of Crown Media then came down somewhat -- 4% higher to $3.90.

Subscribers' fee revenue growth, however, was virtually flat, at $20.9 million from $21.0 million in the first quarter of 2014. At the same time, the company lowered its programming costs by 14% to $33.8 million during the period.

Marketing expenses for the company rose fourfold to $4.6 million, due to the promotion of Hallmark’s “The Good Witch” series.



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