IPL on Star Sports leads to 21% growth in 21st Century Fox international ad revenue

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Indian Premier League media rights acquisition and broadcast on Star Sports Network and Hotstar has made significant contributions to the growth of the 21st Century Fox international ad revenue.

“International affiliate revenue increased 12% driven by strong double-digit growth at both Fox Network Group International (FNGI) channels and STAR. International advertising revenue increased 21% led by STAR, due to the impact of the inaugural broadcast of the Indian Premier League and entertainment growth, combined with continued growth at FNGI,” the company has stated in the report.

“FOX Sports was the leader in live events in 2017 with 256 billion minutes of live sports viewing, 17% more than its nearest competitor,” states a 21st Century Fox report released on Wednesday. “STAR India (“STAR”) secured Indian Premier League’s (”IPL”) Global Media and Digital broadcast rights and, aided by the inaugural broadcast of the Indian Premier League, further penetration of its Hotstar platform and continued general entertainment growth, nearly doubled its profit contributions year over year.”

Also Read: 21st Century Fox, Walt Disney Company stockholder approve acquisition deal

Twenty-First Century Fox had reported financial results for the last financial year and the last quarter of the year full year ended on June 30, 2018.

The Company has reported annual income from continuing operations attributable to 21st Century Fox stockholders of $4.48 billion ($2.41 per share) compared to $3.00 billion ($1.61 per share) in the prior year. The current year income from continuing operations attributable to 21st Century Fox stockholders includes a net tax benefit of approximately $1.5 billion related to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Adjusted annual earnings per share from continuing operations attributable to 21st Century Fox stockholders1 was $1.97, which was 2% higher than the prior year result, stated the release.

The Company reported total annual revenues of $30.40 billion, an increase of $1.90 billion, or 7%, from the $28.50 billion of revenues reported in the prior year. This revenue growth reflects higher affiliate and advertising revenues at the Cable Network Programming segment and higher streaming video on demand (“SVOD”) and theatrical revenues at the Filmed Entertainment segment partially offset by the absence of advertising revenues generated by Super Bowl LI in the prior year at the Television segment.

Also Read: Variety 500 names Star India chairman, CEO Uday Shankar in Top Global Executives

Full year income from continuing operations before income tax benefit (expense) of $4.41 billion decreased $279 million from the $4.69 billion reported in the prior year. Full year total segment operating income before depreciation and amortization (“OIBDA”)2 of $7.03 billion, was $141 million, or 2%, lower than the amount reported in the prior year. The OIBDA decline was driven by higher contributions from the Cable Network Programming segment being more than offset by lower contributions from the Company’s Television and Filmed Entertainment segments as well as the higher compensation expense related to the Disney/New Fox transaction3 included in the Other, Corporate and Eliminations segment, adds the report.

The company reported total annual revenues of $30.40 billion, an increase of $1.90 billion, or 7%, from the $28.50 billion of revenues reported in the prior year. The company reported total quarterly revenues of $7.94 billion, a $1.19 billion, or 18%, increase from the $6.75 billion of revenues reported in the prior year quarter.

This revenue growth reflects strong double-digit growth across all operating segments led by higher content revenues at the Filmed Entertainment segment and higher affiliate and advertising revenues at the Cable Network Programming and Television segments. International affiliate revenue increased 12% driven by strong double-digit growth at both Fox Network Group International (FNGI) channels and STAR.  International advertising revenue increased 21% led by STAR, due to the impact of the inaugural broadcast of the IPL and entertainment growth, combined with continued growth at FNGI.

Commenting on the results, Executive Chairmen, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch jointly said: “Our strategic plan over the last decade has been built on a singular focus on creative excellence to power our world-class video brands. The outstanding shareholder value created this year through our proposed transactions recognizes the work we have done to position our businesses to succeed during a time of great change. We continued to make progress this past fiscal year. We delivered financial and operational momentum, including four consecutive quarters of double-digit domestic affiliate gains, one of the strongest six-month periods ever for our film studio, and continued dominance in live sports and news. We start a new fiscal year with tailwinds from last quarter’s double-digit topline growth across our business segments. As we move closer to combining our businesses with Disney and establishing new “Fox”, we are convinced that the paths we are creating for our iconic businesses will drive enduring and growing value for our shareholders.”

CLICK HERE for the full report.


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