E.W. Scripps is expecting a 30% boost in ad revenue from its four cable nets in the second half of 2004 over the comparable period in 2203, the company was telling investors in New York Wednesday.
Scripps attributed the boost to the general strength of the market and the particular strength of its niche networks.Higher fees for popular basic cable nets HGTV and Food Network combined with more eyeballs for newer nets Fine Living and DIY: Do-It-Yourself Network are expected to boost affilate fees by 40% for the second half of the years, projects the company. On the other side, losses for the full year from DIY and Fine Living, plus investments in VOD and broadband content, are expected to take a $33 million-$35 million hit on profits. The majority of that is from the two cable nets, which are five- and three-years old, respectively. DIY is projected to start turning a profit in 2005, says Scripps’ Tim Stautberg. Fine Living still has a few years to go. But that is still down from the $40 million combined hit for the two last year.The continued integration of its Shop at Home Network into the media mix will knock another $22 million off profits for the full year. Scripps in April bought the remaining 30% of the home shopping network it didn’t own from Summit.On the broadcast side, Scripps says political ad revenue at its 15 TV stations is projected at between $22 million and $26 million, contributing to a projected 4%-6% boost in ad sales. Programming costs are projected to go up that same 4%-6%.