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Crown Media Profits Rise In First Quarter

Crown Media Holdings, which runs the Hallmark channels, reported higher earnings in the first quarter.

Net income rose 20% to $14.5 million or 4 cents per share, from $12 million, or 3 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 6% to $85.6 million.

Advertising revenue rose 6% to $69.4 million in the quarter. The company said the increase was the result of ratings growth at Hallmark Movie Channel and increases at its two networks. Those gains were offset by lower demographic ratings at Hallmark Channel.

Subscriber revenue rose 4% to $21 million.

Programming costs were up 27% because of amortization of 100% of the cost of the original series When Calls the Heart and the Kitten Bowl special.

“Building on the success of our first original series Cedar Cove, we introduced our second original series When Calls the Heart in January 2014 to the delight of our loyal viewers. We snagged their hearts with the Kitten Bowl in February 2014,” Bill Abbott, president and CEO of Crown Media Family Networks, said in a statement. “With a slate of 15 original movie premieres in 2014, the return of Countdown to Christmas with 12 Original Movies and The Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas, and the realignment of the Hallmark Movie Channel’s brand with a new name, tagline and logo called Hallmark Movies & Mysteries; we have positioned ourselves to meet our strategic goals.”