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‘Inbetweeners’ lifts Channel 4

Channel portfolio nabs 11.6% share

Coin from retail sales of laffer “The Inbetweeners Movie” helped U.K. pubcaster Channel 4 deliver a profit in 2011 despite losses at the core web, which continued to lose audiences.

Profits at the pubcaster’s 4Rights arm rose from £7.4 million ($11.9 million) to £18.1 million ($29.1 million) thanks in part to the success of DVD and Blu-ray sales of “The Inbetweeners Movie.” 4Rights revenues surged $34.3 million to $105.7 million.

Losses at the flagship web grew from $10.4 million in 2010 to $67.5 million in 2011, as audience share fell from 7% to 6.8%.

It was the first year at Channel 4 without reality behemoth “Big Brother,” which had been a massive generator of ad money for the broadcaster.

Chief exec David Abraham said: “Across 2011, Channel 4 underwent the biggest diversification of its schedule in a decade. I am proud of the range of content we delivered. We increased investment in U.K. content by 16% and the number of new or one-off programs in peak times by 10%.”

Overall, Channel 4’s pre-tax profit in 2011 was $70.9 million — down 19% from 2010.

Viewing share for the web’s portfolio of channels, which includes youth-skewed E4 and Film Four, was 11.6%, the highest since 2008.

Abraham added: “In our first year without ‘Big Brother,’ we grew portfolio share and stemmed decline on the main channel.”

He continued: “We remain the commercial leader in video-on-demand, and Film4 is in rude health, delivering a home-grown creative and commercial hit in the form of ‘The Inbetweeners Movie.’

“Building on these strong foundations we will continue to engage our audiences with challenging and stimulating content in 2012, investing more money with a wider range of producers.”

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