The World: Sydney - The Seven Network announces profits warning

The Seven Network, the free-to-air TV service, has warned that its profits for the current half-year could be down by almost 50 per cent, due to "the weakness in advertising markets".

The network's acquisitions of Unwired and Engin have also been cited as further reasons for the expected steep decline in profits.

The broadcaster also stated that it had received shareholder backing to buy back up to 40 million shares.

Severn broadcasts a number of major US-imported shows, including Heroes, Prison Break and Lost. Its programming also includes Home and Away, Kath & Kim and Deal or No Deal.