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    Fox Corp reports lower Q2 revenues, Lachlan Murdoch bullish on sports streaming initiative

    Fox Corporation has released financial results for the three months ended December 31, 2023.

    The company reported total quarterly revenues of US$4.23 billion [all figures US$] as compared to the $4.61 billion reported in the prior-year quarter.

    Fox Corporation produces and distributes news, sports and entertainment content through its domestic brands, including Fox News, Fox Sports, Fox Entertainment, Fox Television Stations and Tubi Media Group.

    Commenting on the results, executive chair and chief executive officer Lachlan Murdoch said: “At the halfway point in our fiscal year, our results demonstrate the strength and durability of our core brands and their ability to deliver solid audiences across our portfolio.

    Fox Sports continues to benefit from the power of live sports programming and Fox News has maintained its leadership in cable news, while Tubi has been resilient in an increasingly competitive market. Combining this steadfast portfolio of assets with a best-in-class balance sheet underpins our ability to deliver value for our shareholders.”

    Murdoch shared news about the continued progress at Tubi which he revealed was the most-watched free streaming service in the US in recent months.

    Fox Corp reports lower Q2 revenues, Lachlan Murdoch bullish on sports streaming initiative

    Lachlan Murdoch on new sports streaming service

    In addition to his brief comments in the announcement release, Lachlan Murdoch was quizzed about the new sports streaming service on the earnings call.

    When asked about the size of the opportunity for the three JV partners, Murdoch mentioned some 60m US households not currently taking a cable sports bundle.

    He noted the risks are low in the venture and Fox had been monitoring the space for some time waiting for an opportunity to launch a streaming sports product.

    Murdoch also revealed he had seen prototypes of the new sports streaming app which looked impressive and innovative.

    Streaming

    See also: Australia has Kayo Sports, now TV giants to launch US domestic multi-sport streaming platform

    Absence of special events impact result

    Advertising revenues decreased 20%, primarily due to the absence of the FIFA Men’s World Cup (“Men’s World Cup”) at Fox Sports, lower political advertising revenues at the Fox Television Stations due to the absence of the 2022 midterm elections, and the impact of elevated supply in the direct response marketplace, lower ratings and higher pre-emptions associated with breaking news coverage at Fox News Media.

    Other revenues increased 14%, primarily due to higher sports sublicensing revenues at the national sports networks, partially offset by lower content revenues at the entertainment production companies as a result of industry guild labour disputes.

    Expenses decreased in the quarter, primarily due to lower entertainment and sports programming rights amortization and production costs, led by fewer hours of original scripted programming and the absence of the Men’s World Cup, partially offset by the renewed NFL contract.

    For its coverage of FIFA Women’s World Cup Fox Sports set up HQ at Campbells Cove in Sydney

    Fox Cable Network Programming

    Cable Network Programming reported quarterly segment revenues of $1.66 billion, an increase of $26 million or 2% from the amount reported in the prior year quarter.

    Affiliate fee revenues increased $5 million as contractual price increases were partially offset by the impact of net subscriber declines. Advertising revenues were $348 million as compared to the $451 million reported in the prior year quarter, primarily due to the impact of elevated supply in the direct response marketplace, lower ratings and higher pre-emptions associated with breaking news coverage at Fox News Media, and the absence of the Men’s World Cup at the national sports networks. Other revenues increased $124 million or 80%, primarily due to higher sports sublicensing revenues at the national sports networks.

    Cable Network Programming reported quarterly segment EBITDA of $564 million, an increase of $211 million or 60% from the amount reported in the prior year quarter, primarily due to lower sports programming rights amortization and production costs, including the absence of the Men’s World Cup, and lower legal, programming and production costs at Fox News Media.

    Fox News programming early evening

    Fox Television

    Television reported quarterly segment revenues of $2.54 billion as compared to the $2.93 billion reported in the prior year quarter. Advertising revenues were $1.65 billion as compared to the $2.05 billion reported in the prior year quarter, primarily due to the absence of the Men’s World Cup at Fox Sports and lower political advertising revenues at the Fox Television Stations, partially offset by continued growth at Tubi.

    Affiliate fee revenues increased $70 million or 10%, led by higher rates at both the company’s owned and operated stations and third-party Fox affiliates.

    Other revenues were $132 million as compared to the $196 million reported in the prior year quarter, primarily due to lower content revenues at the entertainment production companies as a result of industry guild labour disputes.

    Television reported a quarterly segment EBITDA loss of $138 million, as compared to an EBITDA contribution of $256 million in the prior year quarter, primarily from the revenue impacts described above. Expenses were consistent with the prior-year quarter as higher sports programming rights amortization, led by the renewed NFL contract, was partially offset by the absence of the Men’s World Cup at Fox Sports. Additionally, there were lower costs due to fewer hours of original scripted programming at Fox Entertainment as a result of industry guild labour disputes.

    See also: Rupert Murdoch steps down from News Corp & Fox, Lachlan sole chair of both

    The post Fox Corp reports lower Q2 revenues, Lachlan Murdoch bullish on sports streaming initiative appeared first on Mediaweek.

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