Fox sees Q3 profit gain despite sales dip after 2020 Super Bowl

Fox sees Q3 profit gain despite sales dip after 2020 Super Bowl

Fox Corp. said Wednesday that it bested Wall Street’s third-quarter estimates despite advertising sales declines compared to last year when it broadcast the Super Bowl.

Shares of Fox rose 2 percent in after-hours trading.

Fox attributed its profit growth to new investments, such as its acquisition of streaming service, Tubi, as well as 10 percent uptick in affiliate revenue from cable providers.

For the period ended March 31, the New York-based company said net income totaled $567 million, or 96 a share. This compares with income of $78 million, or 13 cents, a year earlier. Excluding items, Fox said profit totaled $568 million or 88 cents a share, beating Wall Street’s estimates for earnings of 49 cents a share.

Advertising sales fell 24 percent, dragging overall revenue down 6.5 percent to $3.22 billion from $3.44 billion last year. Fox attributed the ad declines to tough comparisons over last year when it broadcast the Super Bowl.

Fox executive chairman and chief executive officer Lachlan Murdoch said the company “continues to deliver operationally and financially” despite the lack of Super Bowl ad sales as well as the pandemic’s impact on ad sales.

The CEO said Fox News retained its top spot in the ratings following the departure of the Trump administration. He also touted Fox Sports’ renewal of its NFL deal to extend its Sunday NFC rights package and the exit of its costly Thursday Night Football deal. Murdoch said by exiting the deal a year early, Fox will have a $350 million to $400 million positive earnings impact in the fiscal year.

“These strategic milestones, coupled with a slate of complementary, high-growth, digital-focused assets, led by continued record growth at Tubi, provide a powerful platform to grow our business for the long-term,” he said.

Fox on Wednesday also announced it agreed to acquire Outkick Media, the news outlet founded by media personality Clay Travis. While Outkick touts itself as a “fearless sports media company,” it also covers media, culture and politics, increasingly with a viewpoint that’s inline with Fox News opinion programming.

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