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'Big Three' Revenues Rise

Revenues for ABC, CBS and NBC were up almost 6% in the third quarter to $2.128 billion, according to data compiled by accounting firm Ernst & Young and released by the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association.

It was the second consecutive quarter that the big three showed an uptick in revenues and the second consecutive year that the networks posted revenue growth in the third quarter, BCFM said.

The daypart with the largest percentage gain for the quarter was late night, up 17% to $138 million. The morning news block (Today, GMA and Early Show) was up 11% to $148 million. Prime time was up 6% to $1.2 billion.

For the first nine months of the year, the big three were down almost 3% in revenue, to $7.489 billion, due largely to last year's Olympics. As a result of that comparison, the sports category is down 40% so far this year to $1.2 billion.

Late night and morning news are the biggest gainers for the year to date, up 18% to $474 million and up almost 14% to $514 million respectively. Prime is up 11% through nine months to $4.246 billion, the Ernst/BCM data shows.