Sky Italia subs up profit down

News Corp-owned Italian pay-TV operator Sky Italia added 322,000 net subscribers in 2008 for a total subscriber base of 4.7 million. It reported second quarter operating income of US$10m down $52m year-on-year. New Corp said marketing cost of subscriber acquisition and increased sports programming costs hit net income.

News Corp's operating income for the second quarter was down 42% year-on-year to US$818m, meaning the company faced a net loss of US$6.4bn, compared with net income of US$832m a year earlier. The explanation was in an $8.4bn write down on the value of assets – particularly ad supported TV channel and the recently acquired Dow Jones Group – to reflect the downturn. Chairman Rupert Murdoch blamed the "grim" economic situation for the poor results: "Our results for the quarter are a direct reflection of the grim economic climate. While we anticipated a weakening, the downturn is more severe and likely longer lasting than previously thought."

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