Time Warner doesn’t detail its Warner Bros Television financials — never has, probably never will. So it’s always interesting when any exec there gives some facts and figures while boasting. With a series of slides illustrating his 30-minute speech, Warner Bros TV chief Bruce Rosenblum today told Barclay’s Global Technology, Media and Communication Conference in NYC that the TV group is responsible for over half of the overall operating income at Warner Bros. One slide noted that television, including Turner and HBO, brought in $4.4 billion of Time Warner’s 2011 adjusted operating income of $5.9 billion. Rosenblum also noted that “from a profitability standpoint the most lucrative part of our business is success with broadcast network series.” Rosenblum added, “For the past season that just ended, we covered 73% of our production costs from the license fees paid to us by the domestic networks. Our international revenue was another 50% of the total production cost.” He noted that this came before any “lucrative syndication, home entertainment or SVOD revenues on successful series”.
Rosenblum said about the recent upfronts, “Our television group is once again the leading supplier to the broadcast networks. We sold at least one new show to each of the 5 broadcast networks, we have at 2 shows on each network, and we are the only studio that can say either of those things.” WBTV has 9 new series ordered for the upcoming broadcast year including J.J. Abrams’ Revolution on NBC, the comedy Partners on CBS, and the Kevin Bacon vehicle The Following on Fox. In addition, WBTVG has 16 series returning like Two and a Half Men, Two Broke Girls, The Big Bang Theory and The Mentalist.
Rosenblum claims, “There has never been a better time to be in the high quality scripted TV series production business” and “More people are spending more time watching television content than ever before.” He joked, “We want to be everyone’s second favorite supplier,” referring to the networks’ preference to buy from their in-house production companies. He also claimed that right now international buyers are in WB’s Burbank offices watching new series to purchase for their regions.
Finally, about WBTV’s expanding digital markets, Rosenblum said Internet and mobile viewing is “evolutionary for our business not revolutionary.”