DVDs help b'caster results

PARIS — Gallic broadcaster M6 reported a 30.8% rise in third-quarter revenues over the same period in 2002, in line with analysts’ expectations, but down compared with revs from the first and second quarter of this year.

France’s second-biggest private web posted sales of e247.7 million ($290.9 million) against $222.4 million in 2002. First-quarter revs for 2003 reached $337.8 million, while second-quarter revs were $375.8 million.

Of its third-quarter sales, $130.7 million came from ad revs from its flagship channel M6, a rise of 4.1% over last year’s third quarter.

For the first nine months of the year, sales were up 29.9%, while ad sales for the flagship channel were up 4.4%.

DVD sales boost

Company said revs from other activities, including video and DVD sales, and its 34% stake in satcaster TPS rose 65.4% to $160.2 million. Increase was largely due to the fact that the company increased its stake in TPS from 25% in October 2002.

Not counting TPS’s contribution, revenues from the web’s other businesses rose 10.4%, while overall group sales rose 7.5%

Sleep stunt

In related news, M6 announced that it would air a new, unnamed reality show produced by Usual Productions, a filial of Endemol France, in an attempt to attract younger auds. The program, slated for seven primetime slots, pits four couples against each other as they try to complete challenges after staying awake for 36 hours.

The announcement also solves the mystery of what happened to ex-Canal Plus topper Xavier Couture, who was axed by current Vivendi Universal prexy Jean-Rene Fourtou. Couture is now head of Usual Productions.

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