Broadcast giant gains 10.2% in net sales

Mexican broadcast giant Televisa posted a 10.2% gain in net sales to $962.6 million in the second quarter, but net income dropped by 0.7% to $138.7 million in the face of increased financing costs as new competition cooled rapid feevee growth.

Operating income was up 7.9% to $414.1 million.

Financing costs took a toll, rising to $62.9 million from $16.4 million in the second quarter of 2008 — nearly a 400% rise.

Although reaching record numbers of subscribers, cable and satellite sales saw less spectacular growth this quarter with satcaster Sky seeing 7.5% growth year to year to $86.7 million, as opposed to 11% surges in the two preceding quarters. Part of this is attributed to “increased and aggressive competition” from the Dish Network, which began operating late 2008. It has since won a half million subscribers as a bare bones, low-cost option.

Cablers Cablevision and Cablemas saw an impressive 55% jump to $57.2 million this quarter.

Sky subscriber base rose slightly to 1.793 million. Cable subscribers were up slightly to 2.14 million.

Feevee income is beginning to rival revenue from the web’s free-to-air business, which saw only a 0.2% rise in sales to $387 million buoyed by sports, reality and special event shows.

Speculation before the report that the five-day shutdown of Mexico City due to the AH1N1 swine flu outbreak might boost ratings this quarter was not borne out.

Programming exports grew a somewhat slower 11.8% to $22.3 million, benefiting from the positive effect of foreign-currency-dominated transactions, despite slowing sales in Latin America and Europe.

The web paid off an $88.3 million loan in May cutting its debt to $59.9 million down from $171.3 this time last year.

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