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Movies Are So Yesterday, Sony Gains as Studio Shifts Emphasis to TV

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Sony (SNE - Get Report) gained on Thursday as the media and electronics conglomerate pledged to emphasize television programming over movie making while pledging to cut $250 million in costs over the next two years from the company's entertainment divisions.

The changes, Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, said would include "a significant shift in emphasis from motion pictures to higher margin television." Integral to the shift is that Sony plans to make fewer films, following a trend that has gained favor in recent years as the major studios attempt to more carefully spend their production budgets.

Sony made 24 films in 2005 compared to 15 movies in 2013, according to data compiled by
Sony Pictures expects revenue for the film studio next year to be similar to total sales for 2013, he said. The studio reported a $180 million operating loss for its fiscal second-quarter ended Sept. 30.

On a brighter note, Sony's Columbia Pictures announced plans to produce a third "Spider-Man" film for 2016 and yet another sequel due 2018.

Sony is expected to increase revenue at a pace in the low-to-single digits through 2017, Lynton said.
Shares of Sony advanced 0.7% to close at $18.65.

--Written by Leon Lazaroff in New York.

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