‘Rings’ DVD helps improve TF1 revs

Web reaffirms predicted 2%-3% overall increase for 2003

PARIS — French broadcaster TF1 banked e565 million ($659.3 million) in revenues in the third quarter, a 4.6% rise compared with 2002 and in line with analysts’ expectations.

The web reaffirmed it would reach its predicted 2%-3% overall revenue rise for 2003.

TF1 saw ad sales from flagship channel TF1 rise 3.6% to $327.5 million in the quarter, and 2.6% to $1.3 billion for the first nine months of the year.

Revs from its other activities rose 5.6% in the quarter to $332 million from $314.2 million a year earlier. Group said the rise stemmed mainly from DVD and video sales and the contribution from its 66% stake in satcaster TPS, which lined the web’s coffers with more than $102.2 million in the period.

DVD and video revs were bolstered by “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” with more than 1.5 million copies sold.

Eurosport, the group’s cable sports web, saw revs rise 7% in the third quarter thanks to an increased subscriber base.

TF1, which dominates French broadcasting, garnering around a third of TV viewers and more than half the country’s TV ad spending on average, is 40% owned by construction and telecommunications group Bouygues.

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