Spanish cabler took several hits

MADRID — Just-published first-half 1999 results for Spanish conglom Sogecable suggest the company will break even in the year 2000 and move into profits in 2001.

The company launched Spain’s first digital platform in January 1997 and just recently went public.

Owing largely to a 41% hike in subs for digital operator CanalSatelite Digital (CSD), which reached 713,741 by the end of June, total turnover for the film and TV conglom was north of Pta60,000 million ($392 million), 26% up on the same period in 1998.

Average monthly payments by subs also increased over the period, Sogecable managing director Javier Diez de Polanco said.

TV paybox Canal Plus Spain continues to be a cash cow for Sogecable, with 1.7 million subs, offsetting losses at CSD.

Total net losses for Sogecable over the first six months of this year were $7.2 million, in part due to a hit taken by soccer-rights broker Audiovisual Sport, which will look to turn a profit as the pay-per-view market for soccer league games increases in Spain.

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