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February 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Like the Walt Disney Co., Time Warner got a big boost from its film division in its most recent quarter as Gravity and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug offset some, but not all, of the company’s difficulties at its broadcast and publishing units. For its fourth quarter the company reported profits of $983 million versus $1.1 billion for the same quarter a year earlier, a decline of 12 percent. However, its Warner Bros. unit saw operating income rise 4 percent to $573 million. For the first time, Time Warner also broke out performance figures for its HBO unit, which previously had been combined with those for its Turner cable-TV networks. During a conference call, Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes remarked that the company was doing so because “HBO remains in a league of its own,” and he dismissed comparisons with Netflix. During the quarter, he said, HBO and sister channel Cinemax added 2 million subscribers. HBO now counts 130 million subscribers worldwide versus 44 million for Netflix. (There is an overlap, but there are no statistics indicating just how many consumers subscribe to both.)