Twenty-First Century Fox has reported financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2017. (All amounts in US dollars)
The company reported total quarterly revenues of $7.56 billion, a $336 million, or 5%, increase from the $7.23 billion of revenues reported in the prior year quarter. The revenue growth reflects higher advertising revenue at the television segment, led by the broadcast of Super Bowl LI, and higher affiliate revenues at both the cable network programming and television segments partially offset by lower content revenues at the filmed entertainment segment.
Executive chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch said:
“We delivered a quarter marked by operational momentum and strong domestic affiliate fee growth. We continue to demonstrate our ability to capture opportunities to grow distribution of our domestic portfolio of video brands, whether through established MVPD partners or new digital entrants such as Hulu’s recently launched live television service.
“We made progress in the quarter against our key strategic priorities, exemplified by our creative successes across screens, from theatrical releases Logan and Hidden Figures to new FX debuts of Legion, Feud and Taboo. Our proposed combination with Sky, which was recently approved unconditionally by the European Commission, will advance another of our strategic priorities, driving innovation for customers. We remain confident the proposed transaction will be approved by the end of the calendar year following a thorough review process.”
Cable Network Programming quarterly segment revenue increased 2% to $4.02 billion. Expenses were consistent with the prior year quarter as higher entertainment programming and marketing costs at FX Networks and National Geographic Channels, higher National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing rights costs at Fox Sports 1 and higher National Basketball Association rights costs at the regional sports networks were offset by lower sports rights costs at Star India due to the absence of the prior year broadcast of the International Cricket Council Cricket World Twenty20 matches.
Television reported 30% revenue growth reflecting increased advertising revenue and continued growth of retransmission consent revenues. Quarterly advertising revenues grew 39% from the corresponding period of the prior year driven by the broadcast of Super Bowl LI and the inclusion of one additional National Football League divisional playoff game.
Results were down in the quarter driven primarily by lower film studio contributions reflecting difficult comparisons to last year’s strong worldwide theatrical performance of Deadpool and the home entertainment performance of The Martian, partially offset by higher television production contributions from higher subscription video-on demand revenues led by the licensing of The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and higher network revenue.
Photos: Hugh Jackman in Logan and Susan Sarandon with Jessica Lange in Feud