Time Warner's networks group, which includes pay-TV service HBO to its entertainment and news cable channels experienced a 5% growth in revenue to $2.9 billion, thanks to a 9% growth in subscription revenue in the third quarter period. Advertising revenue fell one percent in the quarter ended September 30. The decline was the result of both foreign exchange rates at Turner and tough comparisons at CNN because of last year's presidential race.
Both Turner and HBO saw higher subscription rates in the period but HBO was adversely affected by lower ancillary sales of its original programming. Content revenue fell 12% or $27 million. The Networks unit saw operating income up 3% to $938 million.
Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said he would raise the company's business outlook for the year. In a statement, Bewkes said, "Time Warner is firmly on track to post solid results this year in spite of the tough economic environment. Driven by the better-than-expected performance at our Content Group this quarter, we are raising our 2009 business outlook."
Bewkes said the company is still on track to spin off AOL by the end of the year. Time Warner revenue declined 6% to $7.1 billion. Lower sales at AOL, Publishing and Filmed Entertainment offset growth at Networks.
Net income for the third quarter was $661 million, down from $1.1 billion when Time Warner still owned Time Warner Cable. Income from continued operations was $662 million compared with $761 million from continued operations in the same period last year.