Thursday, November 7, 2019

Fox Revenue Rises

Fox Corp. said Wednesday its quarterly revenue rose 5%, boosted by strong growth at its television unit and higher proceeds from its Los Angeles studio lot, which the company is leasing to rivals.

Fox, which was spun off from 21st Century Fox earlier this year after a sale of most of its assets to Walt Disney Co., is now built around Fox News, the Fox broadcast network and television stations and Fox Sports.

Lachlan Murdoch
According to The Wall Street Journal, revenue for the quarter ended Sept. 30 was $2.67 billion, roughly in line with analysts’ estimates, according to FactSet. Revenue at the company’s television unit grew 6.2% to $1.36 billion, thanks in part to a 14% increase in programming fees from third-party Fox affiliates and higher average rates per subscriber. Cable network programming revenue rose 1.6% to $1.29 billion, primarily because of an increase from pay-per-view boxing and higher sports sub-licensing.

“Our strategy to build Fox around live sports, news and event programming is producing results and delivering audience growth and engagement faster than we expected,” Fox Chief Executive Lachlan Murdoch said during a call with analysts. He mentioned “The Masked Singer,” “WWE Friday Night Smackdown,” and “Thursday Night Football” as programs that had performed well in ratings.

Fox’s net profit fell 17% to $499 million, or 80 cents a share, from $604 million, or 97 cents a share, a year earlier, primarily because of a change in fair value of its investment in Roku Inc. Excluding special items, earnings were 83 cents a share. Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of 70 cents a share.

Fox on Tuesday agreed to buy three television stations—two stations in Seattle and one in Milwaukee—from Nexstar Media Group for $350 million and sell two others in Charlotte, N.C., to Nexstar for about $45 million.

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