Strong TV boosts News Corp’s numbers

Solid results from News Corp’s various TV divisions help propel the media group to significantly improved income for its second quarter of the year (to December 31st). Net income stood at $642 million, up from $254 million in the same period a year ago. COO Chase Carey told analysts that News Corp is considering the sale of struggling social networking site MySpace and there were “lots of potential buyers out there,” he said, although another option was a strategic alliance.

While News Corp’s TV division, including the Fox networks and cable TV segment, saw $2 billion posted in revenues, up 12 per cent on a year ago and helped by growth – from a low base – of advertising income. However, News Corp’s broadcast satellite TV division fared less well, with overall revenues falling 6 per cent to $944 million.

Background to this decline stated: “Sky Italia reported a second quarter segment operating loss of $12 million, which is an improvement of $18 million versus the $30 million operating loss reported a year ago. Local currency revenue increased slightly, driven by higher advertising and subscription revenues compared with the prior year quarter. Overall costs decreased as lower programming costs were partially offset by increased subscriber acquisition costs due to higher subscriber activations. SKY Italia’s 4.87 million quarter-end subscriber base reflects the net addition of approximately 71,000 subscribers during the quarter, representing the highest level of net additions in two years.”

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