Add Fox to the group of Big Media companies showing weaker than expected pay TV network results in a mixed report for the first three months of this year.
The entertainment giant generated $799 million in net income, down nearly 5% vs the period last year, on revenues of $7.56 billion, up 4.7%. Analysts thought the top line would hit $7.63 billion.
Adjusted earnings of 54 cents a share topped the 48 cents that Wall Street expected.
Fox shares are down 4.7% in initial post-market trading.
“We delivered a quarter marked by operational momentum and strong domestic affiliate fee growth,” executive chairmen Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch say. “We continue to demonstrate our ability to capture opportunities to grow distribution of our domestic portfolio of video brands, whether through established MVPD partners or new digital entrants such as Hulu’s recently launched live television service. We made progress in the quarter against our key strategic priorities, exemplified by our creative successes across screens, from theatrical releases Logan and Legion, Feud and Taboo.”to new FX debuts of
They add that they “remain confident” their effort to buy the stake in Sky that they don’t already own “will be approved by the end of the calendar year following a thorough review process.”
At the Cable Networks, Fox’s preferred profit measure — operating income before depreciation and amortiazation — was up 5.2% to $1.45 billion with revenues up 2.1% to $4.02 billion.
Domestic affiliate revenue was up 8% with price increases while ad sales were flat with ratings increases at Fox News and FS1 partially offset by drops at National Geographic.
The broadcast TV unit benefited from the Super Bowl, and an additional NFL playoff game. OIBDA was up 52% to $190 million with revenues up 30% to $1.69 billion.
Filmed Entertainment couldn’t match the results last year, which included Deadpool. OIBDA dropped 20.6% to $373 million with revenues down 2.8% to $2.26 billion.