Operating income was down for News Corporation in its fiscal Q3 (January-March), but don’t blame the television division. Its revenues and profits shot up, due in no small measure to Fox having the Super Bowl broadcast this year.
Television reported third quarter segment operating income of $192 million, an increase of $152 million versus the same period a year ago, led by a 23% increase in revenues. “This growth reflects an increase in advertising revenue driven by higher revenue from the broadcast of National Football League playoff games and Super Bowl XLV, as well as a stronger overall national advertising market. Also contributing to this growth were increased retransmission consent revenues and lower general entertainment programming costs resulting from the absence of 24 and lower costs at American Idol,” the company said. Revenues for the O&O stations gained 8%.
Segment operating income for the entire company (excluding a one-time charge) slipped 5% to $1.19 billion. Television and cable led the quarter, with filmed entertainment down against the tough comps of “Avatar” a year ago.
For the quarter, TV revenue gained 23.1% to $$1.44 billion. Segment operating income shot up 380% to $192 million.
Cable network revenues rose 14% to $2.04 billion, with ad revenues for the domestic cable channels up 14%. Segment operating income was up 25% to $735 million.
For the entire company, however, revenues were down 6% to $8.26 billion. Total segment operating income, including that one time charge for a litigation settlement, dropped 15.2% to $1.06 million.