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Endemol ups revenue forecast

Game shows boost Q3 earnings

LONDON — Format giant Endemol has upped its revenue growth forecast for the year thanks to a strong third quarter powered by “Deal or No Deal,” which airs in 45 territories and pumped demand for gamers worldwide.

In a statement released Thursday, it said it expected revenues to grow by more than 15% in 2006 up from its previous 11%-13% year-on-year estimate. Revenues in 2005 were e900 million ($1.2 billion)

Riding on “Deal or No Deal’s” success, Endemol racked up sales on other formats including “Show Me the Money,” “Set for Life” and “1 vs.100.”

The announcement came amid growing speculation about the long-expected sale of the Netherlands-based company by its Spanish owners, Telefonica.

Recent media reports suggest sale could take place in the first quarter of 2007, following last month’s resolution of a long-running dispute with subsidiary, Endemol France, over bonus payments.

The dispute meant the subsid was excluded from last year’s flotation of a 22% stake in the company.

Banking sources expect Endemol to be sold for up to $3.1 billion.

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