But group net income plunges 76%

MEXICO CITY — Grupo Televisa saw third-quarter net sales rise to 5.02 billion pesos ($528 million), up 7.5% on the same period in 1999.

Terrestrial television sales at Mexico’s No. 1 web climbed to $333 million — a 12% jump that the network credits to its Olympic coverage and higher advertising rates.

But group net income plunged 76% to $18.5 million thanks largely to the one-off cost of $22 million for running two satellites at the same time during a changeover period for Televisa’s joint DTH venture Sky Mexico.

Overall though, Sky proved one of Televisa’s biggest success stories of the quarter, with total subscribers rising to 541,000 — 76% of national DTH market share — compared to 378,000 a year earlier.

Improved results at Televisa’s cabler Cablevision, its publishing distribution arm and radio network were partially offset by decreases in net sales in its music recording and publishing businesses.

Televisa’s music labels, including Fonovisa and Melody, saw sales drop 12% to $31 million while its publishing sector recorded a plunge of 12% to $38 million.

“They’re pretty good numbers,” said J.P. Morgan’s Jose Linares. “The price increases are sticking, and we are seeing some encouraging trends in the DTH business.”

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