Networks up, movies and distribution down at Sony

The Blacklist - Season 1Sony Corp.’s film and TV division swung to a loss in the most recent quarter with the Japanese company and Hollywood studio blaming a decrease in revenues from its film business and TV licensing.

Speaking on the company’s conference call following its quarter to end-June results announcement, Steven Kober, CFO and executive VP, America, said that Sony’s international channels business was performing well although the features-based business had a bad quarter.

“Motion pictures was down significantly; television productions and media networks were up,” Kober said. “Our business is doing very well in the television and network business. The film business is, as you know is cyclical and last year we had a very strong year. This year, it comes later in the year and we’re still very hopeful.”

Across the overall film and TV business revenues were US$1.4 billion, an 11% decrease year-on-year. An operating loss of US$96 million was recorded for the quarter, compared to a 62.7 million profit in the same quarter last year.

“This deterioration in operating results was primarily due to the impact of the decrease in theatrical and television licensing revenues,” Sony said in its results announcement.

Sony has put a renewed emphasis on growing its TV division, setting ambitious new financial targets last year. Michael Lynton, CEO, Sony Entertainment, has also spoken of moving the focus from features to TV at his division.

Sony’s TV slate includes The Blacklist (pictured), Breaking Bad and its spin-off Better Call Saul. Its channels group runs nets including AXN, Animax and SET.