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Digital dinero for Sogecable

$1.9 mil profit posted despite $88.1 mil loss on CSD

MADRID — At least one company in Europe outside France looks to make a success out of digital TV. Giant Spanish film and TV conglom Sogecable has just announced a profit for 1997 — despite the vast cost of launching its 64 channel digital satellite platform CanalSatelite Digital (CSD).

Controlled by French pay service Canal Plus (25%) and Spanish media empire Prisa (25%), Sogecable’s consolidated net profit for last year was $1. 9 million. That may seem slim, but it takes into account a loss of $88.1 million on CSD, which launched in January 1997, tying up output deals last year with all but two of Hollywood’s studios.

That loss will not, however, cause too many sleepless nights for Sogecable execs: CSD has topped 412,000 subscribers in just 12 months and looks on course to reach breakeven in 2000.

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