NBC Ad Performance Impacts Quarterly Profits

But Top-10 Shows May Help in Fourth

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NEW YORK (Adage.com) -- Lower advertising revenue at NBC, as well as modest performances from movies such as "King Kong" and "Black Dahlia," led NBC Universal's profits to shrink 10% for the third quarter. The General Electric Co. unit turned in profits of $542 million compared to $603 million in the same quarter last year.
The hit new show 'Heroes' attracted 6.9 million viewers last week.
The hit new show 'Heroes' attracted 6.9 million viewers last week.

Overall revenue for the division, which encompasses NBC, Telemundo and Universal Pictures, rose 20% to $3.6 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30. GE's profits rose 10% to $4.9 billion.

"Sunday Night Football" and the new hit show "Heroes" may boost NBC's performance in the coming quarter, however. Both programs hit the top 10 most-viewed TV shows among 18 to 49 year olds, according to Nielsen Media Research data.

18-49 demographic
"Sunday Night Football" ranked No. 5 for the week of Oct. 2-8 with 8.2 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic. "Heroes," meanwhile, tied for ninth with ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," attracting 6.9 million. It was the highest-rated of all the broadcast-network's new offerings for the week, just beating ABC's "Brothers & Sisters."

NBC will give a "Heroes" an extra boost Oct. 22, when "Sunday Night Football" is off for the night. According to the network's website, NBC will air three episodes of "Heroes" beginning at 8 p.m.

The network also said this week it will replace failed new series "Kidnapped" with "Medium" at 10 p.m. on Wednesdays starting Nov. 15.
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