21st Century Fox sees Q3 income, revenue boost on strong cable results

'The People vs. O.J. Simpson.' Image: Fox

21st Century Fox today announced (pdf) its September quarter results, highlighted by a net income of $827 million on $0.44 EPS, a 21 percent increase annually.

The income boost came out of total quarterly revenues of $6.51 billion, up 7 percent annually. Fox attributed much of the growth to higher affiliate and advertising revenues generated at its Cable Network Programming segment and higher content revenues generated at the Filmed Entertainment segment.

“We delivered a strong quarter, growing our earnings by double digits on solid revenue gains. Whether it was Fox News rating #1 in basic cable, the 27 primetime Emmy Awards between FX Networks and FOX Broadcasting, producing 3 of the top 5 scripted shows on television, or our robust international growth, we demonstrated strong operational momentum across our global businesses,” said Chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch in a statement.

Breaking out Fox’s total segment OIBDA of $1.79 billion, cable programming drove the majority with $1.38 billion, up 6 percent annually. The profit for that segment came from a 10 percent revenue increase on higher affiliate and advertising revenues. The income was partially offset by a 12 percent increase in expenses stemming from higher international sports programming costs in Latin America and India due to the broadcast of the Rio Olympics, higher Major League Baseball sports rights costs at the regional sports networks and higher entertainment programming costs at FX Networks.

Meanwhile, domestic affiliate revenue increased 8 percent on the strength of rate increases a RSNs, FX Networks, FS1, and Fox News Channel. Domestic advertising revenue also jumped 6 percent because of higher ratings and pricing at Fox News.

But Television OIBDA fell 3 percent during the quarter on lower revenue due to a “market shift in advertising spending towards the Rio Olympics and the absence of the prior year broadcasts of the Emmy Awards and the FIFA Women’s World Cup final.” The losses were mitigated somewhat by higher retransmission consent revenues, higher local political advertising spending at the Television stations and higher content revenues at the FOX Broadcast Network.

The Filmed Entertainment OIBDA however more than doubled to $311 million, driven in part by licensing Homeland to Hulu.