21 Century Fox Records Major Q4 Gains, Credits NFL, Fox News

With its new emphasis on sports and news, 21st Century Fox showed a 15% gain in advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2018, thanks to NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” for its broadcast network, and 6% more domestic cable advertising revenue from Fox News Channel.

Company-wide revenue was up 5.7% to $8.5 billion.

In addition, Fox gained 21% more in retrans affiliate fees from its broadcast operations -- its network and TV stations -- with a steadier increase of 8% for its U.S. cable networks, such as the Fox News Channel.

Total cable revenue was up 4% to $4.6 billion. Broadcast TV grew 19% to $2.2 billion. International cable networks’ overall revenue sank 5%, due to foreign currency issues.

Fox Television Network had two fewer World Series games during the period, which affected total advertising revenue versus a year ago. Fox TV stations helped boost total advertising sales, due to its strong political advertising revenues.



Filmed entertainment sank 4% to $2.2 billion, as a result of lower home entertainment and less TV syndication revenue.

Fox’s loss from its Hulu equity ownership widened to $115 million from $108 million.

Fox anticipated its $71.3 billion deal to sell about half its TV and film businesses to Walt Disney will close in the first half of the 2019 year.

Fox’s net income was $10.9 billion versus $1.9 billion in its previous fourth-quarter period due to the sale of its equity in European TV broadcaster Sky plc to Comcast Corp.

Mid-day Wednesday trading of Fox stock was virtually flat -- up 0.1% -- at $49.09.

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