Crown Media Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRWN) today reported its operating results for the three months and year ended December 31, 2012.
- Strong Operating and Financial Results. Adjusted EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased 18% over last year to $137.7 million on the strength of an 8% increase in total revenues and a 2% decrease in programming costs.
- Hallmark Channel Holiday Programming Success. Over the course of its holiday schedule, from November 10 through December 30, Hallmark Channel ranked as the #1 cable network in weekend primetime (Sat-Sun, 8-11pm) among women 25-54, households, and total viewers according to Nielsen. With 1,100 hours of holiday programing, “Countdown to Christmas” reached more than 65.4 million unduplicated viewers overall, while the 12 new original movie premieres attracted more than 21.1 million unduplicated viewers and delivered the #1 rated ad-supported cable movie of the day for seven consecutive Saturdays. Five of those seven movies ranked as the #1 cable program of the day. The seasonal programming also brought Hallmark Channel its highest week of all time, from November 26 to December 2.
- Hallmark Movie Channel Achieves Key Distribution Milestone. Hallmark Movie Channel recently marked the important distribution benchmark of 50 million homes, with the channel’s February 2013 universe estimate at 49.8 million homes, an increase of 897,000 homes over the January 2013 universe estimate, according to Nielsen. Since becoming Nielsen measured in April 2010, Hallmark Movie Channel has added nearly 16 million new subscriber homes, representing the largest percentage increase of any cable network in that period.
- Original Content Continues to Draw Viewers to Hallmark Channel. Kicking off the year, the January 12 premiere of “The Nearlyweds” was the #1 rated prime time ad-supported cable movie of the day, earning a 1.2 household rating and reaching 2.1 million unduplicated viewers. One week later, the debut of “The Sweeter Side of Life” on January 19 delivered a 1.8 household rating and reached 3.1 million unduplicated viewers. “Be My Valentine”, the most recent original movie premiere, continued the trend with another 1.8 household rating and an audience of more than 3 million unduplicated viewers.
- Upfront Negotiations Nearly Completed. 2013 calendar year Upfront negotiations are nearly completed for both Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, reflecting the maintenance of strong relationships with a diverse group of high-quality, stable advertisers.
“We implemented a number of strategic initiatives and reached some key milestones in 2012 that positioned our business for strong results in fourth quarter and for the full year,” said Bill Abbott, President and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks. “Fourth quarter culminated in another highly successful run of Hallmark Channel’s ‘Countdown to Christmas’ campaign, which garnered record ratings and positively impacted advertising sales revenue. On the Hallmark Movie Channel side, the network continues to show impressive growth, recently reaching the key distribution benchmark of 50 million subscriber homes. At the outset of 2013, we have a strong foundation from which to further develop our business and monetize the gains we are seeing in ratings and distribution.”