James Murdoch, Deputy COO, speaking at News Corp’s results, said he thought the Liberty – Virgin deal would ‘do little to change the competitive landscape.’
Chare Carey, COO, said News Corp would ‘stay the course’ with BSkyB, but admitted the question of its long term future still exercised News management: “Over time, we need to figure out how do we wrestle that question to the ground.”
News Corp’s results were bolstered by cable sports and news channels but weakness in Sky Italia, the Fox broadcast network and the group’s Australian newspapers led the group to cut its full-year guidance.
Carey said News Corp would look to cut $200m from Sky Italia’s costs, and was working to restructure the Australian newspapers. He voiced confidence in Fox’s management despite “tough” ratings.
Revenues rose 5 per cent to $9.43 billion, driven by 18 per cent growth at cable networks, although a 26 per cent increase in sports rights expenses kept networks’ operating income growth to just 7 per cent. Carey said the television rights deal for the Los Angeles Dodgers, which Time Warner Cable won with a reported $6 billion 25-year deal, had been “too rich for our blood.” However, Carey said the idea the group could launch a new US national sports network, was “the world’s worst-kept secret”.