US cable giants bounce back


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The Independent Online

New hit shows and new advertisers are pumping profits at the biggest cable TV companies in the US, the latest earnings figures show.

Time Warner, whose pay-TV channel HBO aired the internationally acclaimed Game of Thrones, is "also making progress shaping the business models that will benefit us as the digital transition continues", said Jeff Bewkes, chief executive yesterday. HBO GO, allowing subscribers to get the channel on any mobile device, launched in May, while the rolling news channel CNN is also now available for smartphones and tablet computers.

Time Warner also owns Warner Bros film studio, whose Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 2 was released just after the end of the second quarter, as well as Time magazine, the flagship of its publishing division.

Cable TV revenues rose 9 per cent, including an 11 per cent rise in advertising, and the overall group recorded net income of $638m in the three months to the end of June, up 14 per cent on last year.

Meanwhile, Time Warner's rival Comcast also posted a big improvement in earnings yesterday. The Philadelphia-based cable TV and internet provider made a bold move into broadcasting earlier this year when it bought a controlling stake in NBC Universal, which owns the national TV network NBC and Universal movie studios, as well as a portfolio of fast-growing cable TV channels.