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: Pearson Television :

   
 

: profile :

The rapid proliferation of channels around the world is creating more demand than ever for popular television entertainment. Pearson Television, which produces shows that attract peak time audiences in countries all over the world, is meeting this demand by extending the range, depth and appeal of our programmes and formats.

We have some 160 programmes in production in 35 countries around the world and library sales to over 100 territories. We own the largest selection of game show formats in the world, are the largest producer of serial dramas and make a wide range of entertainment programmes, including situation comedies, children’s animation and action adventures. Our largest markets are the UK, Germany (where we have a joint venture with CLT-UFA), Australia, and the US, but we also have an extensive presence throughout Europe and growing businesses in Asia, Latin America and South Africa.

The successful cross-promotion of well known game show formats and serial dramas can attract big crowds on the web. We are developing online, interactive versions of our game shows, with a stake in Uproar (www.uproar.com), one of the world’s leading online entertainment sites. In December 1999, Uproar generated 106 million page views from 3.6 million unique users. We are also building online communities around some of our most popular shows (such as www.baywatch.com, www.thebill.com).

We invest in broadcasters where it will support the growth of our international production business, with a 29% stake in the UK’s Channel 5 (www.c5.co.uk) and 20% stakes in RTL Klub (www.rtl.hu) in Hungary and UKTV in Australia. Our US

syndication business enables us to create a virtual broadcast network, selling programmes to local television stations throughout the US in exchange for cash or airtime that we then repackage and sell to advertisers. And we run a transmission business, from our studios in central London, which transmits 50 channels for broadcasters such as Flextech, Discovery and Universal.

: performance :

In 1999, Pearson Television increased sales by 3%. Profits increased by 11% to 68m, boosted by the strong growth of our joint venture with CLT-UFA and lower start up losses from Channel 5.

From The Bill in the UK to Salatut Elämät in Finland, our serial dramas continued to deliver big peak time audiences across Europe. New productions from our library of game show formats proved a big hit worldwide. Our game shows won new audiences in Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Germany, Finland and Poland and the new version of Family Feud was the highest rated new game show in syndication in the US. Our programmes are also finding big online audiences. The online version of Family Feud is proving to be a big draw for Uproar.com. It is the fastest growing game in Uproar’s history and, within a month of its launch, was already the second most popular game on the site.

Performance

We increased investment in new shows and formats, focusing on situation comedies and television animation, and made a number of acquisitions that strengthened our local television production businesses. Our share of Channel 5’s start up losses, after amortisation, fell to 7m from 14m in the previous year. Channel 5 was the only UK terrestrial channel to increase its overall audience share, achieving an average all-channel viewing share among adults of 5.3%. In February 2000, we increased our Channel 5 stake from 24% to 29%, reflecting our satisfaction in its performance to date, and our confidence in its future. It is on track to make an operating profit, before the amortisation of retuning costs, in 2000.

Sales Analysis

Across Pearson Television, we are building on our abilities to deliver hit programmes in any language or culture. By capitalising on the drawing power of our dramas and game shows, investing in new ideas and formats, and boosting our online presence, we aim to keep the world watching Pearson Television.

* Introduction
* Chairman's letter
* Chief executive's review
* The Pearson Goals
* Internet Goals
* The Results
* Financial Review
* Financial Policy
* Directors' Report
* Personnel Committee Report
* Pearson Education
* Penguin Group
* Financial Times Group
* Pearson Televison
* Recolétos
* Lazard
* Consolidated profit and loss account
* Consolidated balance sheet
* Consolidated statement of cash flows
* Statement of total recognised gains and losses
* Note of historical cost profits and losses
* Reconciliation of movements in equity shareholders' funds
* Report to the Auditors to the Members of Pearson plc
* Principal subsidiaries and associates
* Five year summary
* Shareholder information
* Notes to the accounts
 

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