‘CSI’ lifeblood of Alliance

Canadian company's rev up 25% in Q1

MONTREAL — Canuck entertainment company Alliance Atlantis Communications posted strong results in its first quarter thanks to big bucks from its “CSI” franchise and boffo ratings for its specialty channels in Canada.

Revenue for the three months ended March 31 was C$265 million ($209 million), up 25% from $167 million a year earlier.

Alliance Atlantis’ broadcasting division contributed $49 million, up 12%. Motion picture distribution, which had a weak quarter for profit, contributed $79 million, up 5%. The entertainment division, which includes the “CSI” series, contributed $80 million, up 70% from last year. “CSI” accounted for 88% of the latter’s revenue and all of the division’s gross profit.

Net earnings for the quarter were $18 million, compared to a net loss of $1.6 million last year.

Twenty-two episodes of “CSI,” “CSI: Miami” and “CSI: NY” were delivered in the quarter, compared to 16 in the year-earlier frame. International sales for “CSI” continue to grow, and the skeins have generated strong results through weekend syndication and second-window cable sales in the U.S.

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