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SBS to focus on new-media activities

Acquisitions plus failed UPC merger equal $23.3 mil loss

AMSTERDAM — SBS Broadcasting plans to place increasing emphasis on its new-media activities, but will also expand its television and radio ops selectively, the group’s chairman and CEO Harry Evans Sloan said Tuesday, as SBS’ half-year and second-quarter figures were posted.

SBS reported half-year net losses, pushed by additional acquisitions and charges from its failed merger with UPC, of $23.3 million, up from $15.1 million in the same period a year ago.

The group, which now has interests in 12 TV and 17 radio stations across Europe, also reported revenues of $212 million, up from $195 million in the first half-year of 1999.

In its second quarter, the group’s revenues crawled from $108 million in 1999 to $115 million this year, but losses also jumped from $80,000 to $3.4 million.