21st Century Fox reported lower fourth quarter earnings as its broadcast network continue to struggle and sports cost rose at its cable networks.
Net income was $87 million, or 4 cents a share, compared to $999 million, or 45 cents, a year ago.
Revenues in the quarter fell to $6.21 billion from $8.42 billion a year ago. Last year’s total included revenue from Fox’s DBS business. Excluding that, revenues were down 9%.
Operating income for the cable network programming segment rose 1% to $1.22 billion, impacted by higher sports programming costs at Fox Sports 1. Revenues were up 7%.
Domestic advertising for the cable networks was down 2%. Advertising was up at the regional sports networks but down at FX.
The company’s television segment, which includes the Fox broadcast network had $113 million in operating income, down from $145 million a year ago. Advertising revenues were down 14% because of lower ratings for American Idol and The Following.
Filmed entertainment operating income fell to $269 million from $338 million.
“We made clear operational strides over the last year that will further position us to benefit from the strong and growing global demand for high quality video content. We delivered a solid financial performance, driven by sustained gains in affiliate fees, while we continued to invest in building our new channels Fox Sports 1, FXX and Star Sports,” said Rupert Murdoch, now executive chairman of the company.
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