Scripps Sees Strong 2005 for Cable Nets


New York -- E.W. Scripps Co. expects its cable-network unit to see ad-revenue growth of 25%-30% next year and affiliate fees to jump 15%, officials told stock analysts Monday.

Executives from Scripps, parent of Scripps Networks, made the projections at the Credit Suisse First Boston Media and Telecom Week conference here.

Those numbers covered all of the networks in that unit -- Home & Garden Television, Food Network, Do It Yourself, Fine Living and Great American Country.

For the fully developed networks alone -- HGTV and Food -- the forecast is for 20%-25% ad-revenue growth and 15% gains in affiliate fees in 2005.

Scripps’ losses, or investment, to develop Fine Living, DIY and GAC will be $27 million-$34 million in 2005, officials said. DIY is expected to report its first profitable quarter in the fourth quarter of next year.

Shop at Home, which isn’t part of the Scripps Networks unit, is expected to experience losses of $15 million-$20 million next year.