Profits may be down sharply at Rogers Media Inc., but the Sportsnet network of television channels has emerged as a star performer among its parent company’s holdings.
Rogers Communications Inc. saw its revenue increase by $106-million compared to last year to $3.2-billion in the second quarter, and its media division accounted for 30 per cent of the increase. It wasn’t its magazines or baseball team bringing in the cash – Sportsnet brought in about $30-million more than a year ago as it charged other television providers more money to air the stations.
Another $7-million in new revenue came from its newly acquired Sportsnet 360, which was formerly The Score prior to Rogers’ $167-million acquisition.
While revenue increased in the media division (which includes magazines such as Maclean’s and Chatelaine, radio stations, the City television network and the Toronto Blue Jays), profits were harder to come by thanks to a higher payroll for the underperforming Blue Jays and the need to broadcast a flurry of National Hockey League games to make up for time lost during the lockout.
Combined, the two added $35-million in expenses to the media division’s balance sheet in the quarter and helped drag the media division’s profit 19 per cent lower compared to a year ago to $64-million of the parent company’s $532-million profit.