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Fox’s Q2 Earnings Slump Due to Lower Advertising

  • Fall launch date set for joint streaming sports venture with Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery
  • Ad sales drop 20% due to absence of FIFA Men’s World Cup and lower political advertising revenues
  • Affiliate fee revenues increase 4% driven by growth at television segment
  • Net income plunges to $115 million from $321 million
  • Expenses decrease due to lower programming rights amortization and production costs

Introduction

Fox Corporation recently announced an 8% dip in revenue for the last quarter, reaching $4.23 billion. The decrease was primarily attributed to weaker advertising, partly due to tough comparisons with the previous year. The news came just after the announcement of a fall launch date for a joint streaming sports venture involving Fox, Disney, and Warner Bros. Discovery. While details such as the name and price of the service are yet to be revealed, CEO Lachlan Murdoch is expected to provide further information during a call at 8:30 ET.

Main Content

Advertising Sales Drop 20%

One of the main contributors to Fox’s revenue decline was a significant drop in ad sales, which fell by 20% compared to the previous year. This decline can be attributed to various factors, including the absence of the FIFA Men’s World Cup on FOX Sports, lower political advertising revenues due to the absence of the 2022 midterm elections, and the impact of increased supply in the direct response marketplace. Additionally, lower ratings and higher preemptions associated with breaking news coverage at Fox News also played a role in the decline.

Affiliate Fee Revenues Increase 4%

Despite the overall revenue decrease, Fox saw a 4% increase in affiliate fee revenues. This growth was primarily driven by a 10% increase at the television segment. The strength of Fox’s core brands and their ability to deliver solid audiences across the portfolio contributed to this positive result.

Net Income Plunges to $115 Million

The company’s net income for the fiscal second quarter, which ended in December, experienced a significant plunge from $321 million to $115 million. This decrease in net income also impacted the earnings per share (EPS), which dropped to 23 cents per share from 58 cents per share. The decline in advertising revenue and higher expenses were key factors in this disappointing financial result.

Expenses Decrease Due to Lower Programming Costs

Despite the revenue decline, Fox managed to reduce expenses in the last quarter. This reduction was primarily due to lower entertainment and sports programming rights amortization and production costs. The decrease in expenses was led by fewer hours of original scripted programming and the absence of the Men’s World Cup. However, the renewed NFL contract partially offset these expense reductions.

Conclusion

Despite facing challenges in advertising revenue and experiencing a significant dip in net income, Fox Corporation remains confident in the strength and durability of its core brands. CEO Lachlan Murdoch emphasized the power of live sports programming at FOX Sports and the continued leadership of FOX News in cable news. Additionally, Tubi, Fox’s streaming platform, has shown resilience in an increasingly competitive market. With a strong portfolio of assets and a solid balance sheet, Fox aims to deliver value for its shareholders.

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