'CSI' drives Alliance Atlantis' 3Q results

MUMBAI: Canadian television firm Alliance Atlantis Communications has reported revenue and earnings growth for the third quarter ended 30 September, 2006.

The company benefitted from strong sales for the CSI franchise. In India CSI airs on AXN.

Alliance Atlantis CEO Phyllis Yaffe says, "We are exceptionally pleased with the performance of the CSI franchise and the previously announced licensing of certain international second window rights which demonstrate the strong interest of CSI around the world .

"In our broadcasting business, we were pleased with continued strong subscriber revenue gains as well as strong audience growth. While ad revenue was down slightly year over year, we are pacing well in the fourth quarter and in 2007 we believe advertising revenue will increase in line with the Canadian specialty television market expectations. Over the past 12 months, our advertising revenue is up seven per cent."

Broadcasting revenue of $66.7 million represented an increase of four per cent over the prior year's quarter. Subscriber revenue grew by 10 per cent to $33 million in the quarter compared to $30.1 million in the prior year reflecting steady growth in paid subscribers. Advertising revenue decreased slightly to $32.1 million for the quarter compared to $33.0 million in the prior year due to slightly lower demand for ad inventory.

In the entertainment segment, CSI revenue of $140.2 million was up $89.9 million from $50.3 million in the prior year's quarter. The increase was primarily due to second window license fees recognized in the current quarter offset by a stronger Canadian dollar. The company recognises second window license fees from licensing arrangements with existing broadcasters of the CSI franchise when the company has fulfilled its obligations, which typically occurs ahead of the actual second window availability and payment of the license fees.

During the current quarter, the company entered into several second window licensing arrangements with existing CSI broadcasters and recognised $91.3 million in revenue from these arrangements.

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