Game of Thrones boosts Time Warner's profits

Daenerys in Game of Thrones Image copyright Alamy
Image caption Game of Thrones gave HBO its biggest audience since The Sopranos finale

The success of Game of Thrones and The Lego Movie helped Time Warner nearly double its year-on-year profits for the first three months of 2014.

The company, which owns TV network HBO, reported a net income of $1.3bn (£770m) for the first quarter of 2014, compared with $754m (£447m) last year.

It said the latest Game of Thrones premiere drew in the most HBO viewers since the end of The Sopranos in 2007.

Revenues rose by 9% to $1.33bn, also driven by HBO subscriptions.

Consolidation of HBO's Nordic and Asia branches also bolstered Time Warner's revenues, the company said.

Vijay Jayant, an analyst at financial research firm ISI, said: "The Turner networks and Warner Brothers continue to perform well, but we believe HBO could be the real growth story."

Image copyright Press picture
Image caption Mr Peabody and Sherman's performance dented profits at DreamWorks

Last week, Amazon announced it had reached a deal with HBO to show the channel's hit programmes on its streaming service, Amazon Prime.

One of HBO's rivals, the online video content company Netflix, announced a revenue increase of 36% to $1.07bn in the first three months of the year, helped by popular series such as House of Cards.

On Tuesday, animation studio DreamWorks reported its first net loss, at $42.9m, for five quarters, partly due to the weak box office performance of Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

It made a shortfall of $57m for the film, which had high production costs.

Shares in DreamWorks fell 10% on Wednesday following the news.

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