Time Warner profit beats estimates as subscription fees rise

Wed Nov 5, 2014 2:37pm EST
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By Abhirup Roy and Jennifer Saba

(Reuters) - Time Warner Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit on Wednesday, helped by higher subscription fees for channels offered by its Turner Broadcasting and HBO.

Revenue from Turner Broadcasting, the operator of channels such as CNN, TBS and TNT, rose 5 percent to $2.4 billion in the third quarter.

In a conference call with analysts following the release of the results, the chief executive of Turner Broadcasting, John Martin, addressed Turner's contract dispute with Dish Network Corp that has affected the satellite TV company's 14 million subscribers.

Dish has blacked out several of Turner's networks, including CNN and the Cartoon Network.

The chairman of Dish, Charlie Ergen, on Tuesday slammed Turner and the importance of its networks, particularly CNN.

On Wednesday, Martin said: "We were both disappointed in the very antagonistic and aggressive nature of his comments yesterday.

"We are disappointed particularly given the fact that Dish had previously agreed to our networks' rates and our carriage proposals weeks ago," he said.

On Tuesday, Ergen said Dish has a responsibility to shareholders not to do "stupid deals."   Continued...

A woman walks past the Time Warner Center near Columbus Circle in Manhattan, New York in this file photo from July 16, 2014.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif/Files