Overall business was a bit slack for News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA), a frequent thorn in cable's side, but the conglomerate's TV businesses were booming, according to fiscal third quarter results.
As a whole conglomerate, News Corp.'s net income nearly doubled to $1.3 billion from $712 million year over year and net income was $1.48 billion versus $881 million. Overall revenues, though, only moved from $8.76 billion compared to $8.68 billion.
The Fox television businesses, though, were stellar. The Rupert Murdoch-run company credited increased advertising revenues for pushing Fox's cable network revenues to $1.97 billion from $1.76 billion and operating income. Operating income was up 22 percent to $735 million and operating income $151 million versus $29 million a year ago.
While the company itself did not call out the financial value of retransmission consent fees--a frequent bone of contention that actually led to a Cablevision Systems blackout last fall--Murdoch did, noting that the television segment "more than quadrupled its earnings contributions over the prior year quarter on the strength of the national advertising market, increased retransmission consent revenues and the popularity of our programming."
Murdoch and other News executives have gone on the record as stating they expect to reap more from retransmission fees in future negotiations with pay TV providers.
- see this news release (PDF)
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