Cable and broadcast affiliate/carriage fees remain the major growing revenue drivers for 21st Century Fox in its most recent reporting period -- with advertising revenues losing steam.
Fox witnessed 12% higher affiliate revenue to $3.25 billion for its fiscal second-quarter reporting period. Total advertising revenues -- from all its cable and broadcast platforms -- slipped 2% to $2.5 billion. And content sales -- including movies, TV programs -- rose 5% to 2.14 billion.
Cable network advertising was down 3%. Broadcast advertising -- from its TV network and TV stations was also lower.
The company did not disclose specific broadcast advertising data. But it said lower results were due to weak political revenues at the TV stations versus the high revenues of the presidential election period the year before, and declining revenue results, stemming from lower ratings, of its two major sports TV franchises: the National Football League and Major League Baseball’s World Series.
Fox’s filmed entertainment was essentially flat at $2.25 billion. The division’s operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) sank 66% to $131 million, due to high theatrical releasing costs -- despite higher theatrical revenues from “Murder On The Orient Express,” “Ferdinand,” “The Greatest Showman” and “The Shape Of Water.”
Overall, Fox revenues were up 1.3% to $8.04 billion, with net income more than doubling to $1.8 billion from $857 million. Fox says there was a tax benefit, due to the new federal tax laws.
Fox says its 30% share of Hulu, the digital live-streaming/video-on-demand platform, posted a $108 million net loss in the period -- up from $60 million in the period before. Walt Disney, which also has a 30% share in Hulu, posted a similar loss this week.
In December, Fox agreed to sell its movie studio, FX Networks, and its stake in Hulu and international equity interests to Disney for $52.4 billion.