Telefonica financial bow

Revs hit $670 mil, losses at $459 mil

MADRID — Telefonica Media, the film and TV subsid of giant Spanish telco Telefonica, took its first real financial bow Tuesday, announcing results for 2000 that underscored both its size and its long haul to profitability.

Total revenues stood at 730.5 million euro ($670 million). Net losses for companies in which Telefonica Media has invested reached $459 million.

TM’s major loss-makers were its Argentine TV assets, held under ATCO, and led by the country’s biggest broadcaster, Telefe, and Spanish digital platform Via Digital.

It attributed ATCO’s losses — $333.4 million — to “a big effort at financial reorganization,” probably a reference to stricter debt and amortization observance.

There was bittersweet news for satcaster Via Digital. Despite aggressive program acquisitions, its losses may be bottoming out, having risen 12% to $113 million in 2000 as subs rose by 193,000 to 633,059 by year end.

For the first time, the financial results include the performances of Dutch TV giant Endemol, beginning in August.

During these five months, and thanks largely to reality smash hit “Big Brother,” Endemol saw strong revenues of $319 million against sales of $217 for the first six months of the year.

TM’s 49% in broadcaster Antena 3 and 5% in Pearson yielded profits of $52 million and $48 million respectively.

(Emiliano de Pablos contributed to this report.)

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