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Crown Media Holdings Posts Wider Loss

Jun 15, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Crown Media Holdings, the parent company of the Hallmark Channel, reported a widened first-quarter loss Wednesday despite posting gains in revenues from advertising and subscriber fees.

The Greenwood Village, Colo.-based company reported a quarterly loss of $50.9 million, compared with red ink of $41.5 million a year ago. Revenue jumped 21 percent to $40.6 million from a year-earlier figure of $33.4 million.

The revenue figure was fueled by growth in both advertising and subscribers, as well as by the channel’s conversion on a number of systems to a paid service from a free one. Advertising revenue surged 43 percent to $33.9 million in the quarter, while subscriber-fee revenue jumped 94 percent to $4.6 million.

Hallmark Channel, which earlier this year sold its international holdings to a private-equity consortium in order to focus solely on its U.S. operations, saw its U.S. subscriber count jump to 67.7 million households, from 57.6 million a year ago.

However, those gains were partially offset by increases in costs at the cable channel, including 47 percent higher programming expenses to $28 million, due in part to the purchase of series such as “M*A*S*H” and “Judging Amy.”