BCE’s Bell rings up gain

Ad revs from CTV, other TV channels up 21%

MONTREAL — Telcom and broadcast company BCE reported strong growth in the second quarter for broadcast and newspaper division Bell Globemedia and its DTH service Bell Expressvu.

Revenues at Bell Globemedia, which includes the CTV Network and a host of specialty channels, increased 9.5% to C$357 million ($258 million) for the quarter ended June 30 and revenue for the six-month period increased from $461 million last year to $500 million this year.

The reason for the growth was the strong advertising revenue from CTV and BCE’s other television channels, with advertising revenue up 21%.

Ad sales were up thanks to a more robust market in Canada and the boffo ratings performance of CTV, which had 17 of the 20 most-watched shows as of June 30.

Cash flow in the quarter increased to $56 million, up from $42 million in the same period last year; for the six months it was $82 million, compared with $66 million the previous year.

Net earnings at Bell Globemedia were $11 million for the quarter, up from $8 million a year earlier, and $9.4 million for the half year, up from $8.7 million in the first six months of last year.

Revenue at Bell Expressvu was $138 million for the second quarter, compared with $112 million in the same quarter last year. Six-month revenue was $266 million, up from $221 million the previous year.

The increase was due to a 14% increase in subscribers and price hikes. Total revenue for BCE was $3.5 billion and cash flow was $1.4 billion in the quarter, essentially flat compared with the previous year.

Print advertising revenue only grew 4.3% at Bell Globemedia, which owns the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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