21st Century Fox reported higher fiscal first quarter earnings as its sports and news cable networks posted strong results.
Net income rose 21% to $821 million, or 44 cents a share, from $675 million, or 34 cents a share a year ago.
Revenues rose 7% to $6.51 billion.
“We delivered a strong quarter, growing our earnings by double digits on solid revenue gains,” said executive chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch. “Whether it was Fox News rating #1 in basic cable, the 27 primetime Emmy Awards between FX Networks and Fox Broadcasting, producing 3 of the top 5 scripted shows on television, or our robust international growth, we demonstrated strong operational momentum across our global businesses.”
Operating income for Fox’s cable network programming group rose 6% to $1.38 billion, driven in the U.S. by Fox News and FS1. Costs were up 12%.
Revenue for the cable network group was up 10% to $3.8 billion. Domestic affiliate revenue increased 8%. Domestic advertising revenue was up 6%, driven by high ratings at Fox News.
Fox’s television segment registered a 3% decline in operating income in the quarter. Revenues were down 1%. Ad revenues were hurt by the Rio Olympics and a comparison with the Women’s World Cup Final and Emmy Awards broadcast a year ago. Retransmission revenues and political advertising revenues were up.
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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.