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M6 revs, auds soar for first half of year

Channel now No. 2 for in key demos

PARIS — Private Gallic group M6 has reported revenues of 2.046 billion francs ($330 million) for the first half of 1999, an 18% hike over the same period last year.

With a rise in audience share to 14.1%, M6 has become the second-most-viewed channel in France for kids and the under-50 demographic, just behind leading private web TF1.

M6 is also now the second-biggest media outlet for advertising revenue in France, accounting for 19% of the TV ad market share, earning $229 million in the first semester.

The M6 group is a 25% shareholder in digital platform TPS. Although TPS has added 250,000 subscribers since first semester 1998, the digital consortium continues to face strong competition and will record a $97 million loss for M6 in the first half of 1999.

Having just picked up some rights to the French soccer championships, M6 is expecting further gains for the second semester. The group recently purchased the Girondins de Bordeaux soccer team and is branching out into theme-based channels and multimedia.

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