SBD/May 8, 2014/Finance

Super Bowl Ad Revenue Boosts 21st Century Fox' Q3 Profits, Outweighs Spending On FS1

Carey (l) and Rupert Murdoch (r) have an understanding on a new agreement
21st Century Fox reported Q3 profit "beat Wall Street projections, thanks in part to strong advertising sales" for Fox' Super Bowl XLVIII telecast, according to Meg James of the L.A. TIMES. The company reported a Q3 profit of about $1B, with "most of the growth coming from its broadcast and cable television divisions." The broadcast unit, which "includes the Fox network and local TV stations, posted a 27% increase in revenue" to $1.6B. 21st Century Fox President & COO Chase Carey was "asked whether he planned to remain at the company after the elevation" in March of Chair & CEO Rupert Murdoch's two sons, Lachlan and James, into "more senior roles." He said that he "was indeed sticking around." Carey: "Rupert and I have an understanding on a new agreement, we simply have not gotten it on paper yet" (L.A. TIMES, 5/8). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Amol Sharma reports the company's operating income "rose 14%, even as it increased spending on programming and new channels," such as FS1. The Super Bowl alone delivered $350M in ad revenue. Direct broadcast satellite television revenue increased to $1.53B from $1.32B, while operating profit fell to $58M from $91M. Expenses "rose because of Sky Italia's broadcast of the Sochi Olympics and Sky Deutschland's exclusive broadcast of Bundesliga soccer" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/8). At presstime, shares of 21st Century Fox were trading at $34.12 per share, up 6.2% from the close of business yesterday (THE DAILY).

SINCLAIR METHOD: In Baltimore, Lorraine Mirabella reports Sinclair Broadcast Group "boosted profit and revenue in the first quarter, citing better-than-expected spending on political advertising, strong gains from Super Bowl and Olympics ads, and lower expenses at many of the company's television stations." The company reported Q1 income of $27.2M, nearly 60% more than the $17M it "earned in the first three months" of '13. The Super Bowl, which "aired on Sinclair's 31 Fox stations," generated $8.2M in sales, compared with $2.5M in last year's first quarter, when the event "aired on Sinclair's 11 CBS stations." The Olympics "aired on the company's 12 NBC stations," bringing in $3.7M (Baltimore SUN, 5/8). At presstime, shares of Sinclair were trading at $27.85 per share, down 1.0% from the close of business yesterday (THE DAILY).
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