I must admit to mixed feelings about Crown Media (NASDAQ:CRWN). On the one hand, it operates a wonderful pair of TV channels, with superb programming perhaps best represented by the classy "Hallmark Hall of Fame."

Crown, while publicly traded, is essentially the offspring of Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards, and that company's Hallmark Entertainment Holdings. Crown's program service is distributed through 5,300 cable systems, along with home satellite services. It currently reaches 82 million subscribers, representing steady growth from its founding in the early days of this decade.

But on the other hand, aside from Hallmark's almost Lone Ranger-ish determination to provide quality programming, I wonder why Crown isn't a part of, say, Cablevision's (NYSE:CVC) Rainbow programming unit, or the solid network offerings of cable TV leader Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). It just seems that despite its growth, in an era of size -- sometimes for size's sake alone -- Crown might be able to gain even more traction as part of a bigger entity.

For the quarter, Crown registered a net loss of $40.2 million, or $0.38 per share, compared to $47.2 million, or $0.45 per share, a year ago. Revenue for the quarter increased by 19% to $53.6 million, from $45 million last year. Its earnings loss may stem partly from Crown's change in management and headquarters relocation in the past year.

Also in the quarter, Crown Media completed all-important renewable distribution agreements with satellite television provider EchoStar (NASDAQ:DISH) and cable operator Mediacom (NASDAQ:MCCC). It also benefited from the airing of seven original movies.

In its six-year history, Crown has generally done well in adding subscribers. As a result, its stock is up more than 70% in just the past year. Nevertheless, I'd recommend that Fools give the company more time to mature before considering it an attractive investment opportunity.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your questions or comments. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.