'CSI' sales boost Alliance Q3

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TORONTO -- Booking overseas second-window sales of the popular "CSI" TV franchise helped nearly double the third-quarter earnings of Canadian broadcaster Alliance Atlantis Communications, the company reported Friday.

Toronto-based Alliance Atlantis said earnings for the three months ending Sept. 30 rose 45% to $17.7 million ($15.6 million), against earnings of CAN$12.2 million in 2005, after revenue from the "CSI" franchise rose to CAN$140.2 million ($124 million), against a year-earlier CAN$50.3 million.

Most of that increase flowed from previously announced international second-window sales of "CSI," which contributed $91.3 million in revenue during the third quarter.

Alliance Atlantis co-produces the "CSI" franchise with CBS Prods.

Beyond the CAN$93.1 million recognition, AAC executive vp and chief financial officer David Lazzarato, told analysts Friday that the rest of the estimated $250 million raised from the sale of international second-window rights for "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "CSI: Miami" and "CSI: New York" will be gradually recorded over the next 10 years.

Elsewhere, broadcasting revenues from AAC's cable channels rose 4% to CAN$66.7 million ($59 million), against a year-earlier CAN$64 million, with subscriber revenues increasing 10% to CAN$33 million ($29.2 million). TV advertising revenue fell 2.7% to CAN$32.1 million ($28.4 million).

AAC also said revenues from its movie distribution arm, Motion Picture Distribution LP, came to CAN$107 million ($94.7 million), down 8% from CAN$116.2 million in 2005, thanks to lowered boxoffice results compared with the year-earlier performance.
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