21st Century Fox is up but TV got creamed


21st Century FoxThe numbers were up in both the revenue and profit categories at Rupert Murdoch’s outfit, led by gains in its cable and filmed entertainment businesses. But things were kind of ugly on the ratings-poor television side.

Overall, revenues grew 12% to $7.89B and OIBDA grew 12% to $1.78B. A 15% gain for cable network programming and a 16.7% gain in filmed entertainment got credit for the increase.

At the television side of the business, however, it was just plain ugly. Although revenue remained flat at $1.048B, OIBDA fell from $231M to $174M, a 32.8% loss;

Here is how Fox described it: “Television generated quarterly segment OIBDA of $174 million compared with the $231 million reported in the prior year quarter.  Quarterly segment revenues were consistent with those from the corresponding period in the prior year as strong retransmission consent revenue growth was counterbalanced by a 5% decline in advertising revenues primarily reflecting the impact from lower general entertainment ratings at the FOX Broadcast Network. The decline in segment OIBDA principally reflects segment expense growth driven by higher programming costs at the FOX Broadcast Network from the investment in additional hours of original scripted content, higher program cancellation costs and higher rights fees related to the new National Football League contract.”

Rupert Murdoch said, “Our strong earnings and revenue growth in the quarter were driven by continued momentum at our Cable Network Programming and Filmed Entertainment segments, reflecting sustained increases in affiliate fees as well as the global box office success of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and The Fault in Our Stars.  Additionally, we continued our focus on driving long-term value through our planned investments in a number of our growing brands, most notably our new channels FXX, Fox Sports 1 and STAR Sports.”