The owner of The Hallmark Channel had a happy story of its own to tell in 3Q as ad sales improved, marketing expenses dropped — and it recorded a big gain from a deferred tax asset. With that $191.7M one-time tax jolt, Crown had net income of $203.3M, up from $5.9M this quarter last year, on revenues of $74M, up 18%. The company says that ad revenue was up 15% to $56M as it raised average per-viewer prices, while payments from pay TV distributors were up 29% to $18M. The Hallmark Movie Channel contributed $7.8M in ad sales, up 69.6%. Crown says it also benefited from improved ratings from shows in the Hallmark Channel’s daytime block, which includes The Martha Stewart Show, Martha Bakes, and Mad Hungry With Lucinda Scala Quinn. Crown didn’t spend as much on marketing this past quarter as it did a year ago when it launched The Martha Stewart Show. “We have experienced solid growth for our overall advertising sales revenues and are optimistic that the trend will continue,” says CEO Bill Abbott.
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