Movies Top Cable As Big Mover For News Corp. Earnings

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News Corp. sales and operating income got a big boost in the quarter to March 31, 2010, thanks to blockbuster movie Avatar and the popularity of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

For a change, the studio overtook cable as the company growth engine adding another billion dollars in revenue to company coffers.

Releasing its third-quarter earnings May 4, News Corp. reported that filmed entertainment operating income rose 76%, to $497 million, thanks to Avatar, the highest grossing film of all time with box office receipts of $2.7 billion, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. Revenue was $2.4 billion versus $1.47 billion a year earlier.

Fox News Channel again led the cable unit thanks to higher affiliate revenue and advertising sales, at the same time the company maintained costs. Operating income at the cable network programming unit was up 38% to $588 million. FNC operating income rose 31% while the cabbe unit's other networks, which include FX, saw operating income up 42% over the prior period.

Read more at B&C here.

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