Hallmark Eyes Revenue, Ratings Increases


Riding recent ratings and distribution gains, Hallmark Channel announced
Wednesday that it will roll out 24 original movies over the next two years.

The original-movie slate is expected to help Hallmark reach several lofty
ad-revenue and ratings projections over that span, Crown Media United States
president and CEO Lana Corbi said.

While Hallmark wouldn't reveal specific titles, the network will produce and
distribute the equivalent of one movie per month for two years, beginning this
December or in January 2003, executive vice president of programming David Kenin

The projects will encompass a wide array of genres -- including drama,
mysteries and Westerns -- all produced with the family-oriented Hallmark brand
in mind.

Hallmark, however, has not commissioned any original series beyond its
upcoming Adoption reality skein, set to debut May 12.

Corbi said the combination of original movies and acquired programming -- the
network expects to aggressively seek off-network series and films -- will help
to propel the network into the top-10 highest-rated networks on basic cable in

Through February, the network was tied for 33rd place with a 0.5 primetime
rating, up 25 percent over last year, according to Nielsen Media Research

Corbi also said the network -- currently in 44 million homes -- expects to
reach the 50 million-subscriber mark by the end of the year.

She added that Hallmark expects to double its ad revenues from last year,
which were up 30 percent from 2000.

The network expanded its advertiser base from 75 to 125 in