Cable Nets Drive Fiscal Q1 At News Corp.


Cable networks continued to shine at News Corp. in the fiscal 2010 first quarter, with revenue up 10.5% to $1.6 billion and operating income soaring 41% to $495 million, but not enough to stop the bleeding at its broadcast television and newspaper properties.

Overall revenue at the media giant declined 4% to $7.2 billion and operating income rose 9% to $1.04 billion. Revenue at its broadcast television unit continued to decline, down 7.7% in the period to $765 million. Operating income at the unit, dominated by Fox Broadcasting network and its owned-and-operated television stations, declined 54% to $38 million. At its newspaper and information properties, which includes the New York Post and The Wall Street Journal, revenue declined 17.7% to $1.4 billion and operating income plunged 81% to $25 million.
While its other properties struggled, cable networks reported another strong quarter. Fox News Channel registered its highest ever quarterly profit and increased its operating income 79% from a year ago, primarily because of increased affiliate fees. During the quarter, viewership at FNC was 125% greater than its nearest competitor in primetime and 94% higher on a 24-hour basis, reflecting
At News's  other cable channels, operating profit increased 28% from the prior year, and higher contributions from the Big Ten Network and its regional sports networks were largely due to increased affiliate revenue.