The company reported a profit of $522 million, down from $662 million same quarter last year. The 21% drop was due in large part to a one-off debt-redemption charge. But things were looking solid for the entertainment side. Revenue for the media and entertainment group was up 2% to $6.4 billion from a year ago. Profits at the networks division jumped 23%. At its cable networks unit, subscription revenue increased 9% and ad revenue jumped 10%. But the company did say that it expected to lose more than 1 million HBO customers this year, indicating consumers are more apt to find programming via online alternatives. On the film side, profits dropped 31%, but its revenue stayed relatively even at $2.8 billion. The profit drop was due mainly to comparisons to last year, when The Hangover and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince led a strong season. Inception was this quarter’s big draw. The publishing unit’s profits rose 45%.
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