November 1, 2022
Fox Corp. Nov. 1 reported first-quarter (ended Sept. 30) revenue of $3.19 billion, a 5% increase from revenue of $3.05 billion during the previous-year period.
The media company attributed the revenue spike to a 3% hike in affiliate revenue led by 6% growth at the television business segment. Advertising revenue increased 8%, primarily due to higher political advertising spending at the Fox-owned TV stations, continued strength in pricing across the company’s news and sports brands, and continued growth at Tubi, the company’s free ad-supported streaming platform.
Other operating business segment revenue increased 5%, primarily due to higher Fox Nation subscription streaming video revenue (i.e., subscribers) and the impact of the consolidation of entertainment production companies at the television segment.
Specifically, Fox Nation, which launched in 2018, saw revenue increase 9% to $86 million, from $79 million in the prior-year quarter. Fox hasn’t disclosed subscriber data for the $5.99 monthly/$64.99 annual politically themed streaming platform.
Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch, speaking on the fiscal call, said subscriptions are up 45% year-over-year, while viewership is up 70% — the highest quarter ever for the SVOD service.
The increase in cable network segment expenses primarily reflected increased digital investment in Fox Nation and higher costs associated with breaking news coverage at Fox News Media.
Fox Nation programming includes original series “Tucker Carlson Today,” “Tucker Carlson Originals,” “COPS,” “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” “Crime Stories With Nancy Grace” and “What Made America Great With Brian Kilmeade.” Curated programming includes original and acquired content such as “Grateful Nation,” “Keep the Faith,” “Clint Eastwood: American Outlaw,” “Fox Justice” and “All American Christmas,” among others.
Advertising revenue increased 11% in the television operating segment to $905 million, from $819 million in the previous-year period. The rise was again primarily due to higher political advertising sales and continued growth at Tubi, which Fox acquired in 2020 for $440 million.
The increase in expenses primarily reflects increased digital investment in licensed and original content at Tubi and higher programming rights amortization at Fox Sports, partially offset by lower costs at Fox Entertainment.
Murdoch said Tubi advertising in the quarter grew almost 30% from the previous-year period.
“It marked the first time Tubi advertising has surpassed the advertising revenue generated by Fox Entertainment in a meaningful way,” he said, adding that the platform’s viewership increased 50% in the quarter.
“In fact, this was Tubi’s highest viewership ever with total viewing time reaching over 1.3 billion hours,” Murdoch said.
In May, Tubi said it planned to release more than 100 original titles over the next 12 months across myriad genres, including Black Cinema, thriller, horror, sci-fi, romance, documentary and adult animation.
“These are great results for Fox,” Murdoch said on the fiscal call. “[They] demonstrate the continued strength of our established businesses along with the momentum across our digital portfolio.”