TW up as Disney wounded by Lone Ranger

Tonto-deppTime Warner has reported a Q2 profit that topped analysts’ estimates boosted by higher advertising revenue at its networks.

Network advertising sales rose 11 per cent, helped by the NBA playoffs on TNT and the college basketball tournament, the New York-based company said.

Meanwhile, The Lone Ranger hit Walt Disney’s growth in the last quarter and will force the entertainment conglomerate to take a write-down of up to $190 million in the current quarter. Disney said losses from the movie would total $160 million to $190 million, depending on how well it does overseas.

That loss offset growth from Disney’s cable television and theme park units, and Disney reported an overall profit of $1.85 billion — essentially flat from the same period a year ago.

Media Networks unit rose 8 per cent, to $2.3 billion. ESPN benefited from contractual rate increases from cable providers and higher advertising sales, although programming costs also climbed.

Operating income at the ABC broadcast network and a string of local television stations fell 21 per cent, to $213 million, because of higher prime-time programming costs, lower sales of reruns and a decline in advertising revenue tied to a decline in ratings.

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