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Canuck Bell’s revs, profit swell

Year-to-date revenue for Globemedia was $829 mil

MONTREAL — Canuck media company Bell Globemedia reported revenue up 2% to C$302 million ($247 million) and operating income for the third quarter up 15% to $19 million, thanks to strong results at TV network CTV.

Bell Globemedia, controlled by Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), said Wednesday that CTV had 17 of the top 20 shows in Canada in summer, and its “Idol” spinoff “Canadian Idol” peaked at an audience of 4.2 million, making it Canada’s hottest homegrown show for the second year.

Year-to-date revenue for Bell Globemedia was $829 million, up from $807 million for the first nine months last year.

Operating income for the first nine months was $112 million, up 35.6% from $82 million in the first nine months last year.

TV advertising grew by 4.8% in the quarter and by 8% on a year-to-date basis.

BCE-owned satellite service Bell Expressvu gained 33,000 customers in the quarter, almost double the increase in the same quarter last year. Total subscribers at the end of the quarter was 1.5 million, up 8% from a year earlier.

The company attributed the growth to the introduction of more flexible program packages starting at $20 per month, a simplified channel lineup (grouped by genre) and a simplified pricing structure.

Bell Expressvu revenue for the third quarter was $174 million, up 10.9% from last year, and nine-month revenue was $515 million, up 12.9% from last year.

BCE, Canada’s largest telco, reported revenue for the third quarter of $3.9 billion, up 3.3% from the previous year, and cash flow of $1.6 billion, up 2.2% from last year.

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