21st Century Fox reported lower earnings in its fiscal third quarter because of currency changes, the sale of satellite assets and a comparison to having the Super Bowl on its broadcast network last year.
Net income fell 7% to $975 million, or 46 cents a share, from $1.06 billion, or 47 cents a share.
Revenues were $6.84 billion, down from last year, before the company sold off its satellite broadcast operations. Adjusting for that, revenues were up 1%.
“In the fiscal third quarter, we delivered double-digit affiliate revenue growth at our cable networks and continued our strong operating performance at our film studio,” CEO Rupert Murdoch said in a statement. “Our results reflect the underlying strength of our business even as it was impacted by an unfavorable comparison for our broadcast television businesses without the Super Bowl and ongoing currency headwinds.”
Murdoch added that in addition, “we’re seeing real momentum from our continued investments in our global channels business, most notably with the ICC Cricket World Cup broadcasts on STAR Sports in India which broke both linear and digital viewing records.”
Fox’s cable network programming segment reported operating income of $1.23 billion, up 5% from last year. Revenues were up 14% to $3.6 billion.
Operating income from the domestic channels was up 21%, including the addition of YES Network to the portfolio.
Domestic advertising revenue was flat. Increases at Fox News Channel and Sport Sports 1 were offset by lower sales at FX Networks and National Geographic Channels.
Domestic affiliate revenue grew 20%, with Fox News, FX Networks, Fox Sports 1 and the addition of The YES Network contributing to the gain.
Operating income for Fox’s television segment, including Fox Broadcasting, was down 51% to $141 million. Revenue was $1.2 billion, down from $1.6 billion. A year ago when Fox had the Super Bowl, ad programming costs were higher at the networks. Excluding the Super Bowl, operating income was flat and domestic ad revenue was down 7%.
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.
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