Scripps Networks’ online comparison shopping properties Shopzilla and BizRate have been a drag for some time on the cable programmer’s otherwise strong revenue picture. But with the economy still sputtering along, and Scripps Networks (NYSE: SNI) trying everything it can to improve those businesses, Ken Lowe, Scripps Network’s chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement that he believes those businesses may have turned a corner in Q3.
Revenue in the Interactive Services division, which houses comparison shoppers Shopzilla, BizRate, Beso and Tada.com, grew 7.2 percent to $41.8 million. Profits for that segment were up 11 percent to $7.1 million. Shopzilla benefited from higher ad spending by marketers, as well as better search indexing.
The improvement at Interactive Services took pressure off Scripps Networks’ main business, running its “lifestyle” cable channels, which include The Travel Channel, HGTV and The Food Network. Total revenues were up 42 percent for the cable networks business.
The strength on the TV side also contributed to significant gains for its channels’ websites. The digital businesses brought in $21.5 million, an increase of 23 percent over Q309.