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Scripps ups Travel Channel investment

Scripps Network Interactive is putting more money into US cable network Travel Channel amid falling ratings.

Viewing slipped by 5% in 2011, according to the company’s fourth-quarter results, and it will now receive the bulk of a 13% increase in spending on content.

The channel’s revenue dropped 1.4% to US$67.2m in the latest accounts due to falling advertising sales.

Only Travel Channel and Great American Country (15%) recorded a revenue fall for the last quarter of 2011. Food Network’s revenue increased by 15% to US$204m.

Scripps acquired a majority 65% stake in the channel in 2009 and Scripps CEO Ken Lowe said that it remained the company’s “biggest growth opportunity.”

Elsewhere, Scripps seemed to be performing well, with income increasing because of advertising growth and affiliate fees.

The company’s international division bought out Virgin Media’s 50% stake in UKTV last year. In the US, its portfolio includes Food Network, DIY Network and HGTV.

Profits rose 3% to US$135m, up from US$130.6m the year before.

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