Fox Pushes For C7 Ratings, Boosts Revenues By 12% In 3Q

Just days before Fox's upfront TV presentation -- as well as other TV networks -- 21st Century Fox executives continue to make a case for the Fox network to get C7-based upfront deals from TV advertisers.

In an earnings call with Chase Carey, president/chief operating officer of 21st Century Fox, parent company of the Fox network, said: “The industry push towards C7 ratings continues to be a priority. We believe more deals against the C7 ratings currency will prove lucrative.”

Many TV shows have gained 30% to 40% more in ratings gain over seven days. Carey added: “Even with the small lift as experienced in our freshman series "COSMOS" [time shifted viewing] underscores the potential of real incremental revenue."

C3 ratings -- the average commercial ratings plus three days of time-shifting -- has been the virtual TV currency since 2007. TV networks, which have seen growing behavior of time-shifted programming though seven days after a show's initial airing, believe the currency needs to be extended.

Still, Carey believes Fox needs to offer better proof. “Bottom line with advertisers, we have to perform... It doesn't mean we won't have to work through it with advertisers.”

Still, at MediaPost's Outfront Forum on Wednesday, a number of senior TV-buying media agency executives expressed that a move to C7 would not be a priority for their clients this season.

With regard to current TV advertising conditions, Carey says: “The ad market, nationally, is okay... We started down a little bit at the end of the calendar year. Actually, in the last 3 or 4 weeks, it got a little stronger. It's not a windfall. The local market is a little softer, probably sort of flattish.”

Carey believes Fox TV stations will see some higher local TV advertising revenue later into the calendar year.

For its third-quarter 2014 reporting period ending March 31, Fox's broadcast TV revenues gained 27% $1.59 billion, with operating income up 32% to $288 million. The Super Bowl advertising revenues contributed heavily to the strong results.

Cable networks were up 11% to $3.15 billion, with operating income 10% higher to $1.18 billion, and Fox Filmed Entertainment -- theatrical, home entertainment, and license deals for its programming -- slipped 2% to $2.28 billion, but operating income grew 6% to $354 million.

For the first quarter, overall revenue for 21st Century Fox climbed 12% to $8.22 billion. Net income fell by more than half to $1.07 billion from $2.9 billion in its fiscal third quarter. The company says excluding gains/expenses of prior year acquisitions, third-quarter adjusted earnings grew 47% during the period.

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