New specialty channels and income from digital distribution deals resulted in revenue gains for Canadian media conglomerate Corus Entertainment’s second quarter, despite continued drops in ad revenues across both TV and radio.
Overall, the company posted a strong increase over the same period last year, seeing a net income of US$79.7 million, compared with a loss of US$67.7 million loss in 2015.
Company revenues were up 3% to US$153.7 million, compared with US$149.4 million the previous year.
Revenues from Corus’ TV unit─which is home to children’s channels YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon, Teletoon, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD─ were up 5.3% over last year to the tune of US$127.2 million. But those revenues gains did not come from advertising, which fell 7.7% to US$58.5 million for the same comparative period.
Corus did see a substantial increase in subscriber revenue, up 5.1% to US$69.4 million in a year-over-year comparison. The most significant revenue gains came from the company’s merchandising and distribution arm, Nelvana Enterprises─licensing shows to streaming services, for example─which amounted to US$25.7 million, up 32% from the same period last year. Some of those gains are attributable to the company’s addition of Disney to its kids lineup last April.
In November 2015, Corus announced that it was exiting the pay-TV business and shutting down its Movie Central service, which had rights for HBO Canada in Western Canada. The media and entertainment company received US$165 million from Bell Media, which gives the latter company exclusive rights for HBO archived and current programming for the Canadian market.
Corus’ acquisition of Shaw Media is not reflected in the Q2 financials, since the US$2-billion deal closed April 1. The acquisition nearly doubles Corus’ size, creating a combined portfolio of brands that includes 45 specialty channels, 15 conventional channels, 39 radio stations and a growing portfolio of digital assets.
Of course, Corus’ recent corporate rebranding and bout of executive re-shuffles are also not outlined in its earnings report. Among the changes within the company’s kids programming segment are Colin Bohm becoming EVP of international development and corporate strategy, with Daniel Eves now serving as SVP of kids and general entertainment content. Former ABC kids boss Deirdre Brennan joined the company as VP of content for Corus Kids last month.
With files from Sonya Fatah.