Cable Performs for Fox

Cable network helped drive a strong fiscal first quarter at 21st Century Fox, as affiliate fees and ad revenue gains helped drive overall cash flow growth in the mid-double digits.

Overall revenue in the quarter was $6.51 billion, a 7% increase from the prior year. Total operating income before depreciation and amortization increased 17% to $1.79 billion.

Driving the growth were healthy gains at its cable networks like Fox Sports, Fox News Channel and FX. Cable network OIBDA rose 6% despite a 12% increase in expenses due to higher sports rights and programming costs.  Domestic affiliate revenue increased 8% and domestic ad revenue rose 6% during the period.

At the broadcast TV segment, performance was weaker with a 3% decline in OIBDA and a 1% dip in revenue.

“We delivered a strong quarter, growing our earnings by double digits on solid revenue gains,” Fox executive chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement. “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.”