AMC, WE tv Ad Sales Up | Adweek
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AMC, WE tv Ad Sales Up

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Cablevision’s Rainbow Media unit enjoyed another strong quarter, boosting its advertising sales revenue by 13 percent versus the year-ago period.

The ad-supported cable nets AMC, WE tv and IFC in Q2 generated $228.2 million in overall net revenue, improving on last year’s $206.2 million by 11 percent. When Sundance Channel, the local News 12 operations and other Rainbow business are thrown into the mix, the unit took in a grand total of $291.4 million on the quarter, up 12 percent versus $260.1 million.

Operating income at the three core networks' unit grew 4 percent to $82.3 million compared to the prior-year period.

Cablevision credited higher pricing at AMC and WE tv for the ad sales gains. AMC finished the quarter with 89.3 million subscribers, up 3 percent from Q3 2009, while WE tv closed out the period with 64 million subs, a gain of 3 percent. IFC reaches 51.1 million subs (up 3 percent), while Sundance Channel is now in some 39.1 million homes, boosting its reach by 15 percent.

AMC ranked 18th among ad-supported cable networks in Q3, averaging 1.16 million prime time viewers, a gain of 20 percent versus the year-ago period. Adults 25-54 accounted for 40 percent of the network’s nightly deliveries (460,000). WE tv averaged 282,000 viewers in prime (down 13 percent), of whom 109,000 were women 25-54, a decline of 11 percent from 122,000.

Cablevision’s core MSO business took in $1.37 billion in net revenue, up 5 percent from the year-ago $1.3 billion. Local ad sales rose 29 percent to $36 million; sequentially, the company’s sales were up 9 percent from $33 million in the second quarter of 2010. Local ad sales account for less than 2 percent of the company’s overall revenue haul.

The cable operator closed out the quarter with 3.04 million customers, adding 9,600 high-speed Internet subscribers and 9,300 voice subs compared to the second quarter of 2010. That said, Cablevision over the course of the three-month period lost 24,500 basic video subs.

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