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What financial reports reveal about TV networks

Companies with television networks have begun releasing their earnings reports for the latest quarter. Here's a look at reports for selected television network companies.

— Oct. 26: Comcast Corp., which owns NBC, got a boost from being the official broadcaster of the Olympics. Comcast says it took in $1.19 billion in revenue for the Olympics alone during the quarter, topping the $1.18 billion paid for the rights, though the company had expenses for camera crews, announcers and the like. Broadcast ad revenue at NBC more than doubled to $1.99 billion, and rose 9 percent excluding the Olympics. Ad revenue on pay TV networks such as Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and NBC Sports was up less than 1 percent to $807 million.

— Nov. 1: Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., the operator of pay-TV networks such as Food Network and HGTV, says net income grew 20 percent thanks to higher revenue from both advertising and distributor fees.

— Tuesday: News Corp., which owns the Fox network, says its broadcast television business saw operating income rise 17 percent. The company says revenue from fees that cable and satellite companies pay to carry its channels more than doubled from a year ago. It also saw increased local advertising, particularly for political ads. The gains were partly offset by lower national advertising revenue because of lower prime-time ratings and the Olympics on rival NBC.

Operating income at the cable network business grew 23 percent. At its U.S. pay TV networks, advertising revenue rose 8 percent, led by Fox News and its regional sports networks. Fees from distributors rose 16 percent domestically.

Discovery Communications Inc., the owner of pay-TV channels such as Discovery, TLC and Animal Planet, says net income declined 14 percent due in part to higher taxes and interest expenses. Its revenue held steady.

Coming up.

— Wednesday: Time Warner Inc., CBS Corp.

— Thursday: The Walt Disney Co. (ABC owner), AMC Networks Inc.

— Nov. 15: Viacom Inc.

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