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Network Ten qtr. profits drop 2.4%

Slowdown is in line with a softening in Oz ad market

SYDNEY — Network Ten posted first-quarter profits for 2006 down 2.4% to $A295 million ($220 million) compared to the first quarter of last year, at its annual general meeting on Wednesday.

Slowdown is in line with a softening in the Oz ad market predicted by the network at its full year results in October.

“Network Ten’s television advertising revenues were 3.8% below the record first quarter benchmark achieved in 2005,” said exec chairman Nick Falloon.

Falloon also told the meeting that television cost growth for the quarter has been contained to within 3% and that the network had a good year despite strong competition from the other webs.

“The ratings gap between the three networks in the 16-54 demographic, which attracts approximately 80% of TV advertising dollars, is the closest since people meters were introduced,” he said “Just 3.5 share points separate the networks, compared with 8.4 points in 2004.”

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