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Cablevision’s Rainbow Turns In 18% Ad Revenue Climb

Cablevision programming unit Rainbow grew ad revenue a stunning 18.2% in the third quarter, according to the company’s financials for the period issued Nov. 3. Rainbow which houses AMC, WE tv, IFC and other networks including Sundance and local service News12 Network grew net revenue 3.5% to $260 million. Operating income was up 82.7% to $53.5 million.

The company said the increases were due to higher units sold at movies to original series channel AMC which carries two Emmy-winning series, Mad Men and Breaking Bad and higher ratings at women-focused service WE tv.

Third quarter net revenue at the company’s three growing content businesses; AMC We tv and IFC rose 11.4% to $206 million while operating income rose 23.2% to $79.2 million. The company’s Fuse music channel is now reported as part of Cablevision’s Madison Square Garden unit which also houses sports networks MSG and MSG Plus under its MSG Media banner. MSG Media reported a $10.7 million increase in revenue on higher network affiliate fees and lower operating costs. MSG’s net revenue was up 0.6% to $161.8 million while operating income rose to $12.3 million.

Cablevision and its Rainbow programming counterparts have been working hard to expand advanced advertising offerings. The MSO last month demonstrated new capabilities for ad agencies and unveiled a slew of new advertisers who are using the cable system’s interactivity to allow customers to sign up for free vouchers and testers for products. Among those marketers are paint manufacturer Benjamin Moore and department store Century 21. The company’s service allows for viewers to keep watching live TV while learning more about a product on another part of the screen.

Separately, Cablevision’s net revenue for the third quarter  $1. 8 billion versus $1.74 billion in the prior period. Operating income was $381.6 million versus $288.6 million in the third quarter 2008.