Fox TV Q3 income fell 36% under weight of higher NFL, college football fees

Quarterly revenues for the TV segment rose 3%. (Coolcaesar/Wikimedia)

The Fox Television group saw its operating income drop 36% to $122 million during the most recent quarter as the rising cost and volume of NFL and college football games ate into increased revenues.

Quarterly revenues for the TV segment rose 3% due to higher retransmission consent revenue and higher Fox Broadcast Network sports advertising revenues but suffered some due to lower political advertising revenues at the TV stations.

But Fox’s cable networks segment trended in the opposite direction with operating income increasing 9% to $1.51 billion, thanks to a 10% revenue increase in higher affiliate and advertising revenues. But those results were again dragged down somewhat by higher sports programming costs as FS1 kicked off its coverage of Big Ten Conference college football games.

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Cable’s domestic and international affiliate revenues both rose 11%. Domestic increases were thanks to higher advertising revenue and increased operating income contributions from Fox News, FX Networks and regional sports networks. International revenues rose thanks to rate and subscriber growth at both FNG International and STAR India.

“The company’s double-digit gains in affiliate revenues demonstrate our strength in the dynamic global market for distinctive video brands and content, across both established distributors and new entrants. We delivered top-line growth at all of our businesses, backed by stand-out storytelling, sports and news, as well as a product focus that will drive greater consumption and compelling opportunities for financial returns on our content investment,” said Executive Chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch in a statement.

Overall, 21st Century Fox’s revenues totaled $7 billion, up 8% from $6.51 billion during the year-ago quarter. Quarterly income from continuing operations before income tax expense of $1.30 billion rose 5% from $1.24 billion in the year-ago quarter.