'CSI' boosts revenue of production firm Alliance Atlantis

MUMBAI: Revenues from the forensic crime drama CSI has helped drive Canadian television production and distribution company Alliance Atlantis Communications’ second quarter net earnings to C$10.7 million compared to C$3.2 million a year ago.


Total ad sales was up by 22 per cent while CSI revenue went up by up 119 per cent over the same quarter from last year. In India CSI airs on AXN. The company's CEO Phyllis Yaffe says, "Our strategy of focussing on growing our broadcast business, maximising the value of the CSI franchise and strengthening our balance sheet continues to provide exceptional results. Our broadcast channels experienced strong advertising and subscriber growth, while the overall financial performance of the first two CSIs and the addition of CSI: NY have enhanced the franchise value."


Broadcasting revenue increased by 16 ,per cent to $73 million. This reflected a strong 22 per cent growth in total ad sales and a solid 10 per cent growth in subscriber revenue. English language analogue channel advertising revenue increased 19 per cent during the quarter. This reflects strong growth in audiences, particularly for Showcase Television, Food Network Canada and HGTV Canada. The digital channels recorded a 42 per cent growth in revenue driven by significant gains in both advertising and subscriber revenue.


The entertainment division recorded revenue growth of 60 per cent during the quarter primarily due to continued outstanding performance for the entire CSI franchise, which consists of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami and CSI: NY. Revenue gains are attributable to the addition of CSI: NY to the franchise, higher franchise video/DVD revenue, as well as strong first and second window sales both internationally and in the US.

Motion picture distribution revenue was $88 million, representing a decrease of 43 per cent compared to last year's period. This was primarily related to the video/DVD release of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King in Canada and Spain in the second quarter of 2004. The company's net debt decreased from the prior year by $60 million to $456 million as a result of improvements in our free cash flow. At the end of the quarter the company had unused corporate credit facilities of $148 million.

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