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Revenue Falloff Shaves Outdoor Earnings

Although total revenues increased 4.8% to $10 million from $9.6 million in the prior-year period, net earnings for the parent of The Outdoor Channel dropped to $512,000 from $844,000 in the 2004 quarter, according to company officials.

Total expenses for second quarter 2005 increased 17.5% to $9.2 million from $7.8 million.

Advertising revenue, generated largely from the sale of time on The Outdoor Channel, totaled $5.3 million in the quarter, down 2% from $5.3 million. Management attributed the dip to the company’s replacement of certain infomercial inventory with a push to promote its recently launched HD network, Outdoor Channel 2 HD, which bowed in July. Subscriber fees increased 21% to $3.9 million from $3.2 million in the 2004 second quarter. Membership income totaled $863,000, compared with $986,000 in the same period a year earlier.

“We have made excellent progress improving our infrastructure to better position the company for future growth,” said Perry T. Massie, president and CEO of Outdoor Channel Holdings in a statement.. “Although we expect to see a significant increase in operating expenses in the second half of 2005, primarily because of our strategic plan to produce more programming in-house and launch Outdoor Channel 2 HD, we believe these strategies, along with our new advertising sales office in New York, expanded marketing efforts and new broadcast facility slated to open later this year, are sound investments that will create additional shareholder value for the long term.”

Citing Nielsen Media Research data, the company said The Outdoor Channel is now counts some 25.2 million subscribers.