New Fox's News/Sports Focus Will See TV Ad Benefits

The new, slimmer 21st Century Fox -- New Fox -- with its focus on news and sports will result in a stronger company with improved advertising gains, according to one analyst.

Although Fox will be smaller in terms of revenue, Kannan Venkateshwar, media analyst, Barclays Equity Research, notes: “Broadcast sports and cable news also have the most stable viewership trends in all of television and a monetization gap relative to other cable networks.”

In that light, New Fox’s advertising will improve -- in terms of industry share. “The new Fox should also gain advertising share over time as its prime-time sports portfolio continues to grow, given that advertising dollars tend to skew disproportionately toward sports,” he adds.

Venkateshwar says New Fox will account for about half of domestic carriage fees paid today and three-quarters of prime-time viewership.

“Given this mix of content and the relatively low absolute dollars paid for it today, we believe New Fox is likely to have the greatest visibility among all media companies around affiliate fees and [retransmission fees].”

But he cautions that Fox could still go back to its old ways.

“The key risk to New Fox is, in essence, the same as old Fox, the propensity of the Murdochs to invest aggressively on growth or trophy assets like The Wall Street Journal.

That said, the latter deal was “the right strategy, given the valuation assigned by Disney and Comcast for Fox and Sky assets.” Still, all this was a volatile road to take, he said.

Separately, New Fox recently named Hope Hicks, the former White House communications director under President Donald Trump, as its new executive vice president and Chief Communications Officer, based in Los Angeles.

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