Biz Briefs

Nov 17, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Cablevision Systems said Tuesday the accounting probe that began earlier this year and led to the dismissal of 14 Rainbow Media executives in June has been broadened to include other divisions of the cable company and will likely result in a restatement of the company’s 2003 financial results. Bethpage, N.Y.-based Cablevision said the investigation by law firm Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering has discovered another $15 million of improperly booked expenses dating to 2002 and before. This is in addition to the $6.2 million in improperly booked expenses revealed in June (of which $4.5 million has already been properly booked to the correct years, leaving $1.7 million still to be reconciled) and another $3.4 million announced in August. The company also stated that Wilmer, Cutler’s investigation has been broadened beyond the initial focus on the Rainbow Media unit’s AMC and WE: Women’s Entertainment networks to include the telecommunications division, which includes the company’s cable systems, Madison Square Garden and the parent company. The latest revelation comes as Cablevision reported a widened third-quarter loss of $104.6 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with red ink of $79.5 million, or 26 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 12 percent to $975.8 million, driven by revenue growth at the cable systems and advertising and affiliate fee growth at Rainbow.
EchoStar earns Q3 profit
Satellite operator EchoStar Communications reported a third-quarter profit of $35.1 million vs. red ink of $168 million a year ago, helped by subscriber growth at the company’s DISH Network satellite service, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late Monday. Revenue at the No. 2 direct broadcast satellite company surged 19 percent to $1.45 billion, driven by subscriber growth and increased revenue per customer. Subscription revenue surged 22 percent to $1.36 billion as the company’s subscriber base swelled to 9.1 million from 7.8 million a year ago.
Young Broadcasting Reports Loss
Station group owner Young Broadcasting reported Nov. 10 that it had posted a widened third-quarter loss of $11.3 million, or 57 cents a share, compared with red ink of $8.9 million, or 45 cents a share, a year ago, as the lack of political advertising revenue offset the strength in local advertising, particularly at Young’s flagship station, KRON-TV in San Francisco. Revenue for the New York-based owner of 11 stations fell more than 11 percent to $51.4 million, thanks to a $6.7 million drop in political advertising to $2.2 million in the quarter.