News Corp. reported higher second-quarter profits thanks to big gains at its cable and broadcast TV networks.
Net income was $1.06 billion, or 42 cents a share, up 65% from $642 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago. This year's net includes $169 million in one-time gains, as well as a $36 million charge related to the company's newspapers in the U.K. and Australia. Without those charges, net income would have been 39 cents a share vs 29 cents a year ago.
There was also an $87 million charge against earnings related to the costs of the ongoing investigation of the company's phone hacking scandal, which led to the closing of the U.K. paper The News of the World last year.
Revenues rose 2% to $8.98 billion, led by gains in cable networks, television and filmed entertainment.
"The significant growth we reported in the quarter in the Cable Network Programming, Television and Filmed Entertainment segments clearly validates our strategy to develop and distribute superior wide-ranging content," said CEO Rupert Murdoch in s statement. "I am particularly pleased with the success of our business strategies in spite of the uncertain economic conditions that we continue to face."
Operating income for News Corp.'s cable network programming unit climbed 20% to $882 million from $735 million a year ago, behind a 9% revenue advance. Earnings rose 25% at the regional sports networks because of reduced rights costs caused by the NBA lockout.
Advertising revenue at the domestic cable channels grew 6% thanks to higher prices and ratings growth at FX. Those gains were partially offset by advertising declines at the RSNs.
Affiliate revenue rose 9% at the domestic cable channels.
Operating income for the television unit, which includes Fox Broadcasting, rose 25% to $189 million from $151 million. The company said the growth was the result of increased broadcastd network ad revenues driven by a stronger fall schedule led by X-Factor and The New Girl, Major League Baseball and National Football League programming. Retransmission consent revenues rose 100%.
Programming costs were up because of the new series and the cost or producing additional World Series games.
At the local stations, political advertising was lower.