Hallmark Rings Up 14% Q4 Ad Sales Rise

Crown Media Holdings, parent of the Hallmark Channel, said advertising revenue rose 14% in the fourth quarter, fueled by strong audience gains, particularly in its newest network Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

Those increases also helped drive cash flow growth of 25% in the period.

According to the company, Hallmark Channel's "Countdown to Christmas" programming block was No. 1 on cable, reaching 66 million viewers since its launch on Oct. 31 and was the mos- watched cable network among households and women 25 to 54, resulting in Nov. 29 becoming the best Nielsen day in network history. The 12 New Movies of Christmas averaged a 2.6 household rating on Hallmark Channel, making it firsr in weekend primetime.

In addition, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries -- the service that converted from Hallmark Movie Channel on Oct. 1 -- delivered its highest quarter and year in both total day and primetime among households, women 25 to 54, and adults 25-54 in its network history.

“Crown Media’s tremendous achievements in 2014, including Hallmark Channel’s second scripted series, When Calls the Heart; the successful return ofCedar Cove; the rebrand of Hallmark Movie Channel to Hallmark Movies & Mysteries; and strong content and ratings during the holiday season, contributed to the continued growth of our business and another year of record financial results, said Crown Media CEO Bill Abbott in a statement. "Looking ahead to 2015, we are focused on building on our programming footprint, further positioning us to achieve great success.”