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21st Century Fox Cable Networks Up in Weak Quarter

Despite a strong performance from its cable network group, 21st Century Fox reported lower profits in its fiscal first quarter, with its movie business down and broadcast continuing to struggle.

Net income fell to $675 million, or 34 cents a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $1.037 billion, or 47 cents a share, in the year-ago period, which included asset sales by its BSkyB unit.

Revenue was down 6% to $6.08 billion because of lower film revenue, foreign exchange rates and the absence of revenue from Shine, which was spun off, the company said.

“Our cable networks business generated strong growth in the first fiscal quarter, delivering double-digit earnings gains both domestically and internationally on sustained increases in overall affiliate fees, higher advertising revenues and lower expenses,” executive chairman Rupert Murdoch said.

Operating income for 21st Century Fox’s cable network programming segment was up 26% to $1.31 billion. Revenue was up 7% on affiliate growth and higher ad revenue as expenses declined. Domestic operating income rose 19%, driven by FS1, FX Networks and Fox News Channel. Domestic affiliate revenue rose 11% because of growth at FS1. Domestic advertising revenue grew 4%, thanks to the sports channels and FNC, the company said.


Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.