Increased advertising and affiliate revenues were partially offset by lower theatrical revenues at 21st Century Fox, which reported total first quarter revenues of $7.2 billion, a 2-percent increase on the year-ago period, and a higher net profit of $1.3 billion.
“We continue to deliver against our growth plan even as we make important strides toward completing our Disney transaction and launching FOX in the first half of 2019,” said Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairmen. “We have assembled a stellar leadership team for FOX, giving us further confidence in the new company’s ability to capture opportunities in live programming while delivering long-term value for shareholders. Our quarterly performance builds on the operational and financial achievements of last year and sets up our businesses for continued momentum under both the enlarged Disney and the future FOX.”
Cable network programming revenues were up 2 percent to $1.5 billion. Affiliate and ad revenues were up 4 percent but expenses increased by 5 percent, largely due to coverage of the FIFA World Cup. In the U.S., cable revenues were up 7 percent, including a 9-percent hike in affiliate revenues and a 7-percent boost in ad revenues. The segment did report decreased content revenues due to lower third-party licensing of scripted content at FX Networks. The international segment, meanwhile, saw revenues decline 4 percent, in large part from the adverse impact of a strengthened U.S. dollar.
Television revenues rose to $1.3 billion, a 20-percent increase, with ad revenues up 22 percent and retransmission consent revenues up 19 percent.
Filmed entertainment revenues fell by 7 percent to $1.8 billion, primarily reflecting lower theatrical revenue at the film studio, partially offset by higher SVOD revenue at the television production studio.