Television

Fox Kids Europe increases revenues by 17 per cent

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MUMBAI: Pan-European integrated children's entertainment broadcaster Fox Kids Europe has announced financial results for the six months ended 31 March 2004.

Revenues increased by 17 per cent to $87.4 million and operating income increased from $3.2 million to $9.1 million. Subscribers increased by 4.4 million year-on-year to 37.2 million households in 57 countries. However it anticipated that revenues from programme distribution for the year will be down 25 per cent.

The broadcaster is in the process of undergoing an initiative to create a new global action-adventure network for kids Jetix. As part of the rebranding excercise the company's name will be changed to Jetix Europe in the coming months. In this respect an Extraordinary GM will be held in order to approve such a change.

Fox Kids Europe chairman and CEO Bruce Steinberg added, " Our core channel business continues to go from strength to strength. We expect this success to continue as we begin to rename our channels from Fox Kids to Jetix over the next twelve months.

"Being part of a global programming alliance with Disney is a very exciting prospect for our company and, over time, we hope to increase the amount of programming that we co-produce with Disney. This alliance started last year with the co-production W.I.T.C.H, and since then we have already added to that with the co-production Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, . This is due for delivery next year."

Steinberg conceeded that the programme distribution business had experienced a drop in revenues due to a reduction in the volume of rights acquired for shows outside of Europe and the Middle East. He however claimed that the reduction in revenues was not as great as had previously been anticipated.

"We are also seeing tangible signs of improvements in both the quality and quantity of programming that we acquire. The number of episodes added to the library in the period increased from 84 to

122 year-on-year. One of these shows, Tutenstein, has recently won an Emmy

award."

Holland was the standout performer with a 32 per cent share among kids. The broadcaster further claimed that in France ratings increased by 66 per cent among kids aged 4-10. Meanwhile ad revenues went up by over 50 per cent against a television advertising market in Europe that has shown low single digit growth over the same period.

On the merchandising front he added that Power Rangers merchandise was now on sale in more than 100 Disney Stores throughout Europe. "This should contribute to further growth in our consumer products business."

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