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CTV posts $2.5 mil quaterly loss

NetStar, Sportsnet contributed to company's downturn

TORONTO — CTV announced a net loss of C$3.7 million ($2.5 million) for the second quarter ended Feb. 29, compared with a net income of $77,000 for the same period last year. Revenues for the quarter held steady at $88.6 million.

Expenses linked with CTV’s acquisition of specialty powerhouse NetStar were in part responsible, the company said in a statement.

CTV recorded net income of $7.1 million for the six-month period, down from the $11.3 million for the first half of 1999. Much of the decline can be attributed to its six-month share in Sportsnet’s loss, for which it paid $3 million. Six-month revenues were $193 million, very close to those posted for the first half of last year.

Sportsnet is not long for CTV’s stable, however. Canuck regulators recently decreed that as a condition of approving CTV’s takeover of NetStar, the company must unload its 40% interest in Sportsnet to avoid attaining too much control in the Canuck sports specialty market.

NetStar owns the Sports Network, Canada’s oldest and most successful specialty channel, and amalgamating CTV’s outdoor-sports webs with those of NetStar would give it a veritable lock on sports programming in Canada.

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