'Pirates' revenue isn't enough for TF1


French broadcaster TF1 Group on Tuesday reported a profit of €172.3 million ($220.9 million) for the first three quarters of the year, marking a 4.9% drop compared with a year ago despite higher revenue.

France's largest TV group posted a 5.8% revenue gain to €1.9 billion ($2.4 billion).

At the flagship TF1 network, advertising revenue grew 3.8% to €1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) thanks to widespread public interest in the summer's World Cup soccer tournament in addition to strong performances by U.S. TV import "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," French TV drama "Marie Besnard L'empoisonneuse" and the hit film "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl."

However, programming costs for the World Cup contributed to a 20.1% decrease in the group's nine-month operating income to €194.5 million ($249.4 million).

TF1 didn't break out quarterly figures, but based on previous financial reports, third-quarter profit came in at €800,000 ($1 million), with operating profit amounting to €14.3 million ($18.4 million).

The group's cinema division, TF1 Films Prod., attracted huge audiences for such recent co-productions as "Les Bronzes 3: Friends Forever" and "The Valet."

Revenue from other businesses reached €662.4 million ($849.1 million), an increase of 9.6% thanks to profitable partnerships in the media sector.

TF1's collaboration with Neuf Telecom earned the company the top spot among French Internet sites and it also engaged in joint ventures with Bouygues Telecom (TF1 Mobile) and Planete Media (Cote Momes magazine).