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Twenty-First Century Fox has reported $8.22 billion of total revenue for the three months ending March 31st 2014, an $866 million or 12 per cent
increase over the $7.35 billion of revenue reported in the prior year quarter.
The growth in revenue was driven by a $338 million increase at the Television segment, led by the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII, and a $325 million or 11 per cent increase atthe Cable Network Programming segment, led by continued global affiliate revenue growth.
The company reported third quarter total segment operating income before depreciation and amortisation of $1.79 billion, as compared to $1.57 billion reported a year ago, representing a $217 million or 14 per cent increase. The OIBDA growth was led by increased contributions from the Cable Network Programming and Television segments.
The Company reported quarterly income from continuing operations attributable to stockholders of $1.07 billion, as compared to $2.53 billion reported in the corresponding period of the prior year. Current year quarterly results included a $53 million increase in Depreciation and amortisation expense principally resulting from the amortisation of intangible assets related to the Company’s acquisition of a controlling ownership stake of Sky Deutschland in January 2013. The current year quarterly results also included $33 million of expense in Other, net, principally reflecting the completion of all terms related to the prior year sale of the Company’s ownership stake in NDS Group as compared to income of $2.11 billion in the corresponding period of the prior year driven by the gain on the acquisition of the additional ownership stake in Sky Deutschland.
Commenting on the results, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch said: “We delivered strong results in the fiscal third quarter with double-digit revenue and earnings growth led by sustained gains in affiliate fees at our cable networks. The sizeable audiences of our live television events, led by the most watched Super Bowl in history, underscore the value of our investments in live sports programming, both in the US and internationally. This quarter’s continued solid operational and financial performance demonstrates the global leadership of our businesses and the long-term value we are creating for our shareholders.”
Television reported quarterly segment OIBDA of $288 million, an increase of 32 per cent as compared to the prior year quarter driven by 27 per cent revenue growth reflecting increased advertising revenue and continued growth of retransmission consent revenues.
Quarterly advertising revenues grew 30 per cent from the corresponding period of the prior year driven by the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII and higher rates and ratings for the National Football League playoffs, partially offset by the impact from lower general entertainment ratings, led by declines at American Idol. The segment results also included higher costs associated with the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII and higher scripted programming and marketing costs.
Filmed Entertainment reported quarterly segment OIBDA of $354 million, a 6 per cent increase over the $334 million reported in the same period a year ago. This result reflects higher contributions from the television production businesses, led by higher SVoD revenues driven by the sale of series to Amazon, which included 24 and The Americans, and the syndication of Modern Family. This growth was partially offset by the timing of theatrical launch costs incurred in the quarter in advance of the successful worldwide theatrical release of Rio 2 in April, which has grossed nearly $400 million in worldwide box office to date.
DIRECT BROADCAST SATELLITE TELEVISION
DBS generated quarterly segment OIBDA of $58 million, compared to $91 million reported in the same period a year ago. The decrease in OIBDA reflects higher programming costs related to SKY Italia’s broadcast of the Sochi Olympics and Sky Deutschland’s exclusive broadcast of Bundesliga football, which commenced in the current fiscal year. The impact from the increased programming costs more than offset a $210 million or 16 per cent increase in segment revenues driven by continued subscriber growth at Sky Deutschland and a 4 per cent beneficial impact from the strengthened Euro. At SKY Italia, quarterly local currency revenue was consistent with the corresponding period of the prior year. Sky Deutschland grew net direct subscribers by approximately 64,000 during the quarter, bringing total direct subscribers to 3.73 million while SKY Italia’s subscriber base wasessentially unchanged at 4.75 million.