Sogecable posts a 3Q loss

Red ink highlights weak pay TV sector

MADRID — Spain’s biggest pay TV operator, Sogecable, reported Friday a third-quarter loss of €40.7 million ($39.9 million) on revenues of $225.5 million.

The red ink can be attributed to a recent writedown of the value of Sogecable’s 3% in Canal Plus Technologies. Sogecable paid $48.7 million for the stake in January 2001; this September, Vivendi Universal sold 89% of Canal Plus Technologies to Thomson Multimedia for just $186.3 million.

In general, Sogecable’s results underscore just how tough it is becoming for pay TV operators in Europe.

Third-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization were up 11% year on year to $33 million — more than some analysts expected but still down on the 20% growth target set by Sogecable for the year.

Subscribers dropped from 1.98 million in June to 1.93 million in September.

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