Higher retransmission consent revenue couldn’t counterbalance lower advertising revenues and higher sports programming costs principally from the U.S. Open Golf Championship and FIFA Women’s World Cup events.
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. on Wednesday reported television revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter of $987 million, a 4.3% decrease from the $1.0 billion reported in the same period a year ago.
Television generated quarterly segment operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) of $113 million compared to the $145 million reported in the prior year quarter as higher retransmission consent revenues were more than offset by lower advertising revenues and higher sports programming costs principally from the U.S. Open Golf Championship and FIFA Women’s World Cup events.
Quarterly advertising revenues declined 14% from the corresponding period in the prior year due to lower general entertainment ratings, led by American Idol and The Following.
Cable Network Programming quarterly segment OIBDA of $1.22 billion increased 1% over the result reported in the corresponding period of the prior year. A 7% increase in revenues from higher affiliate and advertising revenues was offset by a 10% increase in segment expenses, principally driven by higher sports programming costs at FS1 related to both new events, including the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the U.S. Open Golf Championship, and NASCAR. Segment OIBDA growth was adversely impacted by 4% from foreign exchange rate fluctuations.
For the full fiscal year, the company reported total revenues of $28.99 billion, a $2.88 billion decrease from prior year revenues of $31.87 billion.
Excluding the net revenues from the Direct Broadcast Satellite Television businesses, Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland AG, which were sold in November 2014 to Sky plc, in both years, adjusted revenues increased $890 million, or 3%, over the $26.06 billion of adjusted revenues in the prior year. This increase was primarily driven by double-digit revenue growth at the Cable Network Programming segment.
Commenting on the results, Chairman-CEO Rupert Murdoch said: “We made clear operational strides over the last year that will further position us to benefit from the strong and growing global demand for high quality video content. We delivered a solid financial performance, driven by sustained gains in affiliate fees, while we continued to invest in building our new channels Fox Sports 1, FXX and Star Sports. The appeal of our new sports rights resonated with consumers globally, whether it was STAR Sports in India setting new records with hundreds of millions of viewers for the ICC Cricket World Cup, or the more than 25 million viewers who watched the Women’s World Cup Final on Fox.”