Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (Fox) reported a 10 per cent growth in operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) in Q1-2015 (quarter ended September 30, 2014) at $ 1,779 million from $ 1,618 million in the corresponding quarter of last year, and 0.7 per cent more than the $ 1,766 million in Q4-2014.
Commenting on the results, Fox Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch said, “Our strong earnings and revenue growth in the quarter were driven by continued momentum at our Cable Network Programming and Filmed Entertainment segments, reflecting sustained increases in affiliate fees as well as the global box office success of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and The Fault in Our Stars. Additionally, we continued our focus on driving long-term value through our planned investments in a number of our growing brands, most notably our new channels FXX, Fox Sports 1 and Star Sports.” Television segment
The company’s television segment reported flat y-o-y revenue at $ 1,048 million (13.3 per cent of Q1-2015 revenue or TIO and 14.8 per cent of Q1-2014 TIO), and 1.6 per cent more than the $ 1,031 million (12.2 per cent of TIO) in Q4-2014. The segment reported OIBDA of $ 174 million (9 per cent of overall OIBDA) in Q1-2015, down 24.7 per cent from the $ 231 million (14.3 per cent of overall OIBDA) in Q1-2014, but 20 per cent more than the $ 145 million (8.2 per cent of overall OIBDA) in Q4-2014.Here is what the company had to say about Television segment
Quarterly segment revenues were consistent with those from the corresponding period in the prior year as strong retransmission consent revenue growth was counterbalanced by a 5 per cent decline in advertising revenues primarily reflecting the impact from lower general entertainment ratings at the FOX Broadcast Network. The decline in segment OIBDA principally reflects segment expense growth driven by higher programming costs at the Fox Broadcast Network from the investment in additional hours of original scripted content, higher program cancellation costs and higher rights fees related to the new National Football League contract.Let us look at the other Q1-2015 numbers reported by Fox
TIO in Q1-2015 at $ 7,887 million was 11.7 per cent more than the $ 7,061 million in Q1-2014 and 6.4 per cent less than $ 8,424 million in the immediate trailing quarter. OIBDA numbers have been mentioned above. Cable Network Programming
Cable Network Programming, the largest contributor to Fox numbers, reported 15 per cent growth in y-o-y revenue to $ 3,231 million (41 per cent of TIO) in Q1-2015 from $ 2810 million (39.8 per cent of TIO) but a 3.5 per cent drop from $ 3,347 million (39.7 per cent of TIO) in Q4-2014. This segment reported a 4.7 per cent growth in OIBDA in Q1-2015 to $ 1,038 million (58.3 per cent of overall OIBDA) from $ 991 million (61.2 per cent of overall OIBDA) in Q1-2014, but 13.6 per cent less than the $ 1,202 million (68.2 per cent of overall OIBDA) in the immediate trailing quarter Q4-2014. Here is what the company has to say about Cable network programming:
The revenue improvement was partially offset by a 21 per cent increase in segment expenses, nearly half of which reflected the combined impact of the planned investments in the new sports channels launched in the prior year, coupled with the consolidation of the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (the Yes Network). The expense growth at the new sports channels principally reflected increased rights fees related to the broadcast of the India vs. England cricket series at STAR Sports and the inaugural broadcast of regular season Major League Baseball games at Fox Sports 1. In addition to the continued investment in these channels, quarterly segment expenses included increased programming and marketing costs at the FX Networks for additional hours of original programming including The Strain, Tyrant and Sons of Anarchy at FX and the exclusive cable rights to air all 552 episodes of The Simpsons at FXX. Segment OIBDA growth was adversely impacted by 4 per cent from foreign exchange rate fluctuations, primarily in Latin America.
Domestic affiliate revenue grew 18 per cent reflecting the combination of sustained growth at the regional sports networks (RSNs), FX Networks and Fox News Channel, the contribution from Fox Sports 1, as well as the consolidation of the Yes Network. Reported international affiliate revenue increased 8 per cent driven by strong local currency growth at the Fox International Channels (FIC) and Star channels which was partially offset by an 8 per cent adverse impact from the strengthened US dollar, primarily in Latin America.
Domestic advertising revenue grew 10 per cent in the quarter over the prior year period driven by the consolidation of the Yes Network and solid growth at the FX Networks and Fox News Channel. Reported international advertising revenue increased 13 per cent due to strong growth at the STAR channels.
OIBDA from the domestic channels increased 15 per cent from the corresponding period in the prior year, reflecting OIBDA growth at the Fox News Channel and the RSNs, which included the impact of the consolidation of the Yes Network. This quarterly domestic growth was partially offset by lower contributions from the FX Networks due to the increased investment in programming and marketing. Reported quarterly OIBDA at the Company’s international cable channels’ declined 28 per cent from the corresponding period of the prior year as strong double-digit local currency growth at FIC was more than offset by the timing of the continued investment in STAR Sports and a 19 per cent adverse impact from the strengthened US dollar. Filmed Entertainment Segment
Filmed Entertainment Segment reported 16.8 per cent growth in revenue in Q1-2015 to $ 2,476 million (31.4 per cent of TIO) from $ 2,120 million in Q1-2014, but was 11.7 per cent lower than the $ 2803 million (33.3 per cent of TIO) in Q4-2014.
OIBDA from Fox’s Filmed Entertainment Segment in Q1-2015 at $ 458 million (25.7 per cent of overall OIBDA) was 39.6 per cent more than the $ 328 million (20.3 per cent of overall OIBDA) in Q1-2014 and 39.6 per cent more than the $ 339 million (19.2 per cent of overall OIBDA) in Q4-2014.This is what the company has to say about Filmed Entertainment:
This growth was led by the performance of several successful worldwide theatrical releases in the quarter including Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Maze Runner, which have grossed over $ 700 million and over $300 million in worldwide box office to date, respectively, continued contributions from the worldwide theatrical and domestic home entertainment performance of The Fault in Our Stars, and the worldwide home entertainment performance of Rio 2. As a result of these successful releases, the film studio became the first to cross the $ 4 billion mark in worldwide box office this year. Quarterly results also reflect higher contributions from the television production businesses driven by higher syndication and SVOD revenues. Direct Broadcast Satellite Television
Revenue from Filmed Entertainment Segment in Q1-2015 at $ 1449 million (18.4 per cent of TIO) was 11.7 per cent more than the $ 1,390 million (19.7 per cent of TIO) in the year ago quarter but 6.4 per cent lower than the $ 1,593 million (18.9 per cent of TIO) in Q4-2014.
OIBDA for Filmed Entertainment Segment in Q1-2015 at $ 207 million (11.6 per cent of overall OIBDA) was 8.9 per cent more than the $ 190 million (11.7 per cent of overall OIBDA) in Q1-2014 and 41.8 per cent more than the $ 146 million (8.3 per cent of overall OIBDA) in Q4-2014.This is what the company has to say about Direct Broadcast Television:
This increase reflects a $ 59 million or 4 per cent revenue increase primarily due to Sky Deutschland subscriber growth, partially offset by higher sports programming costs including SKY Italia’s broadcast of the FIFA World Cup. Sky Deutschland grew net direct subscribers by approximately 96,000 during the quarter, bringing total direct subscribers to 3.91 million, while SKY Italia’s subscriber base declined by 21,000 during the quarter bringing total subscribers to 4.70 million.