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Super Bowl XLVIII Helps 21st Century Fox Top Q3 Earnings Estimates

Company reports revenue of $8.2 billion, thanks more to TV than film

It’s good to have the Super Bowl.

Twenty-First Century Fox reported revenue of $8.2 billion in its fiscal third quarter, highlighted by a $338 million increase from the Television segment — which was led by the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII. Advertising revenue in the quarter — led by the big game — grew by 30 percent, but a drop-off in ratings with shows such as “American Idol” partially offset those increases.

The company also jumped $325 million for the Cable Network Programming segment, led by global affiliate revenue growth. However, costs associated with the launches of Fox Sports 1 and FXX partially offset cable growth.

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On the film end, theatrical launch costs for “Rio 2” (which came out the following quarter, in April) took a chunk out of the money made by sales to Amazon of “24” and “The Americans,” as well as the syndication of “Modern Family.”

The company reported quarterly income from continuing operations attributable to stockholders of $1.07 billion ($0.47 per share), as compared to $2.53 billion ($1.09 per share) reported in the corresponding period of the prior year.

Twenty-First Century Fox topped analyst estimates for the quarter.

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Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said in a statement: “We delivered strong results in the fiscal third quarter with double-digit revenue and earnings growth led by sustained gains in affiliate fees at our cable networks. The sizeable audiences of our live television events, led by the most watched Super Bowl in history, underscore the value of our investments in live sports programming, both in the US and internationally.

Murdoch concluded, “This quarter’s continued solid operational and financial performance demonstrates the global leadership of our businesses and the long-term value we are creating for our shareholders.”

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