21st Century Fox Cable Nets' Revenues Rocket 16%, Broadcast Dips

The first earnings report from entertainment company 21st Century Fox showed strong double-digit percentage revenue gains -- although it slightly missed in profit/loss results.

For its fiscal fourth quarter, revenues were up sharply -- 15% to $7.21 billion -- a $977 million increase from prior-year quarterly revenues ($6.24 billion).

The company reported that quarterly total segment operating income was up 14% to $1.49 billion, led by 25% growth at the cable network programming segment. This was offset somewhat by lower contributions at the filmed entertainment, television and direct broadcast satellite businesses.

U.S. cable networks' revenues were up 16% to $2.9 billion, with U.S. advertising revenues growing 4%, reflecting the growth at the FX Networks, National Geographic Networks and regional sports networks. There was 20% growth in international cable channels’  advertising revenues -- largely the result of currency fluctuations.

U.S. affiliate cable network revenues climbed 9% for the regional sports networks, the Fox News Channel, FX Networks and National Geographic Channels.

Affiliate revenues at the international cable channels gained 41%.

For the television unit, its U.S. Fox broadcast network, there was a 7% decline in national and local advertising revenues primarily driven by lower “American Idol” ratings. All this contributed to a slight decline in overall revenues -- to $1.096 billion, from $1.101 billion.

Filmed entertainment revenue was up at $2.035 billion from $1.977 billion, with higher gains from new content/episodes revenues of “Arrested Development” to Netflix. A successful theatrical performance of DreamWorks Animation’s “The Croods” grossed over $500 million in worldwide box office.

Net losses were pared down to $308 million for the quarter compared to a $1.52 billion loss for the comparable fourth quarter in 2012. In the year-ago quarter, the old News Corp. -- including the assets of new News Corp. and 21st Century Fox -- had recorded a loss of $1.5 billion, amid a writedown for the value of its publishing business.

On June 28, the company formerly known as News Corp. completed the separation of its businesses into two independent, publicly traded entities: 21st Century Fox, housing media and entertainment businesses; and the new News Corp., including publishing, digital education and Australian media businesses



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