Time Warner, Comcast and Viacom in the most recent quarter boosted their results mostly through strong growth in cable network affiliate fees. Time Warner posted a 23% jump in profit -- despite TV ad revenue dropping 1% -- because of a 5.3% increase in affiliate fees for TBS, TNT, HBO and other networks. Comcast's earnings were up 17%, with affiliate fees for NBCUniversal channels such as USA and Bravo going up 8.6% and ad sales increasing by 2.5%. Meanwhile, Viacom saw its profit drop by 18%, due to problems in its movie unit, but tallied a 3% increase in domestic affiliate fees and a 2% rise in ad revenue.

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