Ads, profits down at BCE

Company's satellite service revs up due to subscriber growth

MONTREAL — Canuck telecom company BCE reported third-quarter results Wednesday which included growing losses and declining ad revenue at BCE-owned Bell Globemedia, which operates leading Canadian network CTV. But BCE’s DTH satellite service Bell Expressvu reported a 44-percent increase in revenue to C$117 million ($74 million) thanks to subscriber growth.

Bell Globemedia reported a loss of $10 million in the third-quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to a loss of $8 million in the same period last year. Advertising revenue at Bell Globemedia fell three percent to $103 million due to a softening of the economy, which hurt Bell Globemedia’s print assets particularly hard. The company owns national newspaper the Globe and Mail. Subscriber revenue from Bell Globemedia’s specialty channels — which include sports network TSN and Discovery Channel Canada — was up five percent to $40 million.

Television accounted for 75-percent of Bell Globemedia’s revenue, with print accounting for 19-percent and interactive media six-percent. The loss comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that CTV was cutting 150 full-time positions in an effort to deal with revenue short-falls.

Bell Globemedia’s revenue for the quarter was $156 million, down from $159 million a year earlier.

Overall, BCE reported a loss of $92 million, compared to net earnings of $405 million in the same period a year earlier.

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