"Economics of Basic Cable Networks," a new study from SNL Kagan, indicates that cable network revenue is much stronger than reported by other sources. According to the research, based on surveys with network executives, SNL Kagan finds that advertising revenue for cable networks was up 9 percent last year.

The cable network industry is much healthier than previously believed, with total revenue up 12 percent and cash flow up 13 percent. In addition, cash flow margins remain healthy, with an industry average of 34 percent and some networks in the 50 percent to 60 percent range.

SNL Kagan’s research also concludes that most of the growth is being generated by the major media conglomerates, with a continued bifurcation in the market. Independently owned cable networks are struggling as compared to networks that are owned by companies such as NBC-Universal, Time Warner and Viacom.

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