Time Warner's Q4 revenues rise as HBO Now reportedly hits 5M subscribers

Time Warner Center. Image courtesy of Time Warner, Inc.
Time Warner saw revenue increases across most of its units in the fourth quarter. (Image: Time Warner Inc.)

Time Warner’s fourth quarter revenues rose 9% amid strong performance from Turner and HBO, the latter of which saw its streaming service reportedly reach 5 million total subscribers.

Total revenues hit $8.6 billion and operating income increased 13% to $1.9 billion.

Turner’s revenues rose 10% to $3.1 billion as subscription revenues rose 14%, content and other revenues rose 32%, and advertising revenues rose 2%. As is the story with many cable programmers, subscription revenues benefited from higher domestic rates but were offset by domestic subscriber declines.

The increase in advertising revenues was thanks to more ad money from MLB postseason games and growth at Turner’s international networks.

Turner’s operating income rose 22% to $1 billion, despite programming expenses rising 10% mainly due to higher costs associated with airing MLB postseason games.

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HBO’s revenues increased 13% to $1.7 billion as a 16% rise in subscription revenues helped fight off a 17% decrease in content and other revenues.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes credited HBO series and the awards they garnered for record subscriber growth at the network.

“Led by its great content, Home Box Office delivered its highest increase in domestic subscribers ever in 2017 and its best subscription revenue growth in over 20 years,” said Bewkes in a statement.

According to Bloomberg, HBO Now, the network’s standalone streaming service, now totals 5 million subscribers. Last year at around the same time, the service had 2 million subscribers.

HBO’s operating income increased 13% to $486 million as revenue growth outpaced increases in programming and marketing costs. Programming expenses increased 13% due to higher original and acquired programming costs and marketing costs rose due to original programming and HBO’s OTT products.