21st Century Fox today reported its second-quarter earnings, which were highlighted by a 35% jump in operating income for its television unit.
TV segment OIBDA reached $376 million on segment revenues that rose 12%. Fox attributed the growth to higher sports advertising revenues, higher local political advertising spending at the television stations, higher retransmission consent revenues, higher content revenues at the Fox Broadcast Network and revenues generated by the television stations to permit the commercial use of adjacent wireless spectrum in one of our markets.
In particular, the 2016 World Series, which featured two more games than last year’s, helped drive growth in sports advertising revenues. But the revenue growth was offset somewhat by higher NFL and college football sports programming costs.
Meanwhile, Fox’s cable network segment saw its OIBDA increase 6% to $1.33 billion and its revenue increase 7% thanks to higher affiliate and advertising revenues. Still, Fox saw its expenses increase primarily due to higher MLB sports rights costs at FOX Sports 1 and higher NBA sports rights costs at the regional sports networks.
Domestic affiliate revenue increased 7% reflecting continued contractual rate increases led by FX Networks, FS1, Fox News and the RSNs, according to a news release.
“We delivered a second consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings growth, driven by solid increases in affiliate and advertising revenues across cable and television. Our record-breaking post-season baseball run underscores the immense value of our sports programming, as well as the broader competitive advantage we have built through our other leadership positions in entertainment and news,” said Executive Chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch in a statement.
Overall, Fox reported quarterly income from continuing operations of $857 million, up from $674 million during the year-ago quarter. The profit came on total quarterly revenues of $7.68 billion, up 4% over the previous quarter.