Execs: Company Boosted by Foxtel Purchase, Digital Growth in Q4

News Corp chief backs Foxtel despite subscription revenue fall

News Corp chief backs Foxtel despite subscription revenue fall

The results were the first time Foxtel's full figures were fully accounted by News Corp after the company took full control of the business earlier this year following its deal that diluted Telstra's stake in the joint venture.

News Corp. shares sank nearly 11 percent to $13.63 in NY, their biggest drop since the company split from Murdoch's 21st Century Fox Inc.in June 2013, after being down 5.9 percent this year through Thursday.

While the digital real estate and book publishing divisions were solid contributors, they were offset by lower print advertising sales and a 6 per cent revenue decline in News the America Marketing division.

The loss was bigger than last year's $US643 million, but included a writedown of $US998 million for the merger of Foxtel and Fox Sports in Australia.

Pro forma Segment EBITDA for fiscal 2018 decreased $154 million, or 22%, compared with the prior year, primarily due to $90 million of higher sports programming costs, mainly related to the Australian Football League and National Rugby League rights, as well as lower subscription revenues despite rising subscriber numbers. He did not mention the group's titles in Australia, such as the Australian and the Herald Sun had performed, but the earnings report to the stock market said that digital subscriptions in Australia had increased to 415,600 from 363,600 the previous year.

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We have created an interactive dashboard on what to expect from News Corp's fiscal 2019 earnings which outline our forecasts for the company's full-year fiscal 2019 results.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has shrugged off its latest annual loss with an upbeat assessment of its digital news and real estate assets. Since then, News Corp. has relied on its digital real-estate business for growth, while trying to reduce its exposure to newspaper advertising by adding more digital subscribers. As a outcome, the company is focused on driving higher penetration of digital paid subscriptions, particularly in Australia and at News UK in fiscal 2019.

Robert Thomson, chief exec of News Corp, still described the year as an "operational and transformational success" as the company switched the flow of its revenues to being digital and subscriber based.

The swathe of red ink came despite healthy digital subscriber growth led by The Times, Sunday Times and Wall Street Journal as well as successes at its property portal realestate.com in addition to its book publishing unit. At Subscription Video Services, the company will focus on launching new OTT products, 4K, the next generation of the IQ Box and managing its broadcast base.

When the company launched the "new" News Corp. five years ago, "we promised to be relentlessly digital and global and that we would remain faithful to the principles and the values inherited from the founding company", Thomson told analysts.

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