Radio and TV operator Astral Media reported higher net earnings in the latest quarter on a 4% jump in revenues.
The Montreal company says its net earnings jumped 8% to $47.8 million in the fourth quarter, up from $44.3 million in the same period in 2010. Revenue was up 4% to $247.6 million.
The company said it had signed a new credit agreement, giving it access to $700 million from its bankers.
In another development, Astral Media signed a multiyear, multiplatform deal with NBCUniversal Television Canada to bring hundreds of Universal movie titles to its cable channels The Movie Network, Super Ecran and Mpix in Central and Eastern Canada.
Separately, Corus Entertainment announced the renewal of its multiyear agreement with NBCUniversal for its pay TV service, Movie Central, which serves Western Canada.
Terms of both deals weren’t released. The agreements were reached as both Corus and Astral compete with online services such as Netflix for licensing rights to movies and programming.
“This multi-year deal also expands upon our ability to offer this sought-after content across multiple platforms, including our on-demand channels and through TMN OnLine, our broadband streaming service,” said Astral’s senior vice president of programming, Kevin Wright.
The contract with NBCUniversal Television Canada rounds out Astral’s studio offering which includes Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Disney and Alliance, in addition to films and series acquired through a long-term deals with HBO and CBS Paramount which represents Showtime’s programming.
The new releases will first appear on the pay-per-view service Viewers Choice, which is partially owned by Astral, and will include movies such as Hop, The Adjustment Bureau and Fast Five.