ABC says bye to Oprah, hello to better margin


ABCOperating revenue at Walt Disney Company’s broadcasting segment was only up 2% in its fiscal Q2, which ended 3/31/12. But a drastic reduction in expenses, including the absence of costs associated with Oprah Winfrey rights, really gave the broadcast bottom line a boost.

Overall, the company boasted a diluted earnings per share surge of 29%, rising from $0.49 to $0.63.

“With 18% adjusted growth in earnings per share, we’re pleased with our second quarter performance,” said Robert A. Iger, Disney Chairman and CEO. “We’re incredibly optimistic about our future, given the strength of our core brands, Disney, Pixar, Marvel, ESPN, and ABC, and our extraordinary ability to grow franchises across our businesses, such as The Avengers, which shattered domestic box office records with a $207.1 million opening weekend for a global performance of more than $702 million to date.”

Media networks enjoyed a 9% increase to $4.692B, and an operating income boost of 13%, to $1.729B.

The media networks segment broke down further.

Cable increased revenue to 12% to $3.167B and operating income 11% to $1.5B.

On the broadcast side, revenues increased a modest 2% to $1.525B, but operating income soared 37% to $229M.

Of its broadcast results, the company stated, “Operating income at Broadcasting increased $62 million to $229 million due to lower programming and production costs and higher advertising revenue. Lower programming and production costs were due to the absence of costs for The Oprah Winfrey Show at the owned television stations and decreased daytime and news production costs at the ABC Television Network. Higher advertising revenues were due to increased primetime rates at the ABC Television Network partially offset by a decrease at the owned television stations.”