Scripps' Q1 revenues rise 4.7% as HGTV ratings boost drives ad sales, distribution increases

"Fixer Upper" airs on HGTV. (Image: HGTV)

Scripps Networks Interactive is reporting higher quarterly revenues today as its networks are coming off ratings highs.

The company’s operating revenues rose 4.7% to $855.1 million during the first quarter. Accompanying that growth was a 4.3% increase in advertising revenues and a 4.5% increase in distribution. Consolidated income from operations fell from $499 million to $351 million, which Scripps attributed to a year-ago gain of $208.2 million from the sale of the company’s investment in a regional sports network.

Net income for the quarter totaled $199.9 million, down significantly compared with $290.9 million Scripps brought in during the year-ago quarter, once again because of its regional sports network sale.

Amid higher revenues, Scripps said HGTV delivered its second highest rated quarter in network history, behind the first quarter of 2016. Meanwhile, Food Network’s ratings were even year-over-year among adults 25-54 and Travel Channel improved its adult 25-54 sales prime rating by 9%.

“The momentum we saw in 2016 has continued into 2017. Underpinning our success is our unwavering focus on lifestyle content that creates a unique viewing environment and inspires the lives of our viewers and fans each day,” said Kenneth W. Lowe, chairman, president and CEO of Scripps, in a statement. “Over the last several months, we finalized long-term agreements with some of our distribution partners, continuing with yesterday’s announcement regarding Hulu’s new virtual product offering. As we broaden our reach globally, and on new platforms and digital channels, the enduring relationships that we have built with viewers is paying off in the form of consistent, long-term value creation for advertisers, distributors and shareholders.”

Related: Hulu’s live TV officially launches with Food Network, HGTV added

Scripps’ quarterly report comes just one day after the company’s networks made it into Hulu’s new live TV product on the day it launched.

Along with today’s report, Scripps is also announcing a new partnership with Snapchat that will have the programmer creating original content for the social media platform.

Scripps has been on board with Snapchat’s Discover platform since its launch in 2015. Under the expanded deal, TV networks including Food Network and HGTV will begin developing and producing shows for Snapchat.