Barry Diller, the high profile controlling stockholder in media giant USA Networks, is facing a year-on-year first quarter loss ten times that of the same period last year.

According to the group’s financial controller Bill Severance, the loss increased to $286.4 million (€319.51m; £197.31m), or 73 cents a share, from $26.6m (7 cents) in the year-earlier quarter. This flies in the face of a 4.6% increase in sales, up from $1.31 billion to $1.37bn.

The group’s entertainment division, including the USA Network and Sci-Fi Channel cable-TV networks, is currently in mid-sale to Vivendi Universal, a move that will leave USA Networks free to focus on Diller’s perennial cash machine, the Home Shopping Network and web travel site Expedia, where cash flow rose.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff