03/21/2002 12:00AM

TVG said to be steady despite losses


Mark Wilson, the chief executive officer of Television Games Network, said on Wednesday that continuing losses by the channel's parent company, Gemstar-TV Guide Inc., would have no impact on TVG.

"We just finished off our best quarter ever, our revenues continue to rise rapidly, and our expenses are under control," Wilson said.

The ongoing losses by Gemstar - $600 million in 2001, following $186 million in 2000 - have raised questions about the future of its money-losing divisions. TVG lost $100 million from 1998-2000. It is unclear how much the network lost in 2001.

Concern for TVG, which is supported by many of the most prominent racetracks in the country, took on more urgency when Peter Boylan, Gemstar's co-president and a strong supporter of the network, resigned in the wake of the earnings announcement late Monday.

Wilson's confidence, however, was supported by Henry Yuen, the chairman and chief executive officer of Gemstar, during a conference call earlier this week in which Yuen called TVG "an emerging business with a lot of interest and excitement." He declined to provide financial figures for TVG in 2001, but said TVG "significantly reduced its burn rate" during the year, meaning TVG cut its expenses and reduced the amount of cash it was using. At one point in 2000, officials acknowledged earlier, the network was going through $5 million a month.