The rise comes from higher retransmission consent revenue and higher Fox Broadcast Network sports advertising revenues being partially offset by lower cyclical political advertising revenues at the TV stations.
21st Century Fox on Wednesday afternoon reported third quarter (fiscal first quarter) Television Segment revenues totaling $1.065 billion, up slightly from the year-ago quarter’s $1.038 billion.
The company said quarterly Television Segment revenues were 3% higher than the corresponding period in the prior year due to higher retransmission consent revenue and higher Fox Broadcast Network sports advertising revenues being partially offset by lower cyclical political advertising revenues at the TV stations.
Television generated quarterly segment OIBDA of $122 million, a decrease of 36% compared to the prior year quarter. The decrease in segment OIBDA was primarily driven by higher contractual sports programming costs at the FOX Broadcast Network, including a higher volume of college football and National Football League games broadcast in the current year quarter, that more than offset the higher revenues.
Cable Network Programming quarterly segment OIBDA increased 9% to $1.51 billion, driven by a 10% revenue increase on higher affiliate and advertising revenues partially offset by an 11% increase in expenses. The increase in expenses was primarily due to higher global sports programming costs reflecting the inaugural broadcasts of Big Ten college football at FS1 and Argentine Football Association matches at Fox Networks Group International as well as contractual rights increases for Major League Baseball at the domestic sports channels and higher CONMEBOL soccer rights at FNG International.
Domestic affiliate revenue increased 11% driven by contractual rate increases across all of our domestic brands. Domestic advertising revenue increased 3% over the prior year period led by growth at the domestic sports channels. Domestic OIBDA contributions increased 11% over the prior year quarter driven by higher contributions from Fox News, FX Networks and the regional sports networks.
The company as a whole reported quarterly revenue of $7 billion, a $496 million, or 8%, increase from the $6.51 billion of revenues reported in the prior year quarter. This increase reflects revenue growth reported across all operating segments, led by higher affiliate revenues at both the Cable Network Programming and Television segments and higher content revenues at the Filmed Entertainment segment.
Quarterly income from continuing operations before income tax expense of $1.30 billion increased 5% over the $1.24 billion reported in the prior year quarter.
Commenting on the results, Executive Chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch said: “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.
“Our solid first quarter performance puts us on track to achieve our overall financial and operational objectives for this fiscal year.”
Read the company’s report here.