Fox Corp. continues to put much of its digital future on the shoulders of ad-supported Tubi and subscription streaming service Fox Nation — with positive results.
The media giant May 10 reported that television segment advertising revenue increased $54 million to $969 million, from $915 million in the previous-year period, primarily due to continued growth at Tubi, which Fox acquired in 2020 for $440 million.
Additional factors positively affecting ad revenue included continued strength in pricing at the Fox Network, and the impact of the additional week to the NFL regular season, partially offset by the absence of the rotating NFL Divisional playoff game in the current year quarter and softer entertainment ratings at the Fox Network.
At the same time, operating segment income plummeted almost 75% to $35 million, compared with the $135 million in the prior year quarter due to higher expenses. The increase in expenses primarily reflects increased digital investment at Tubi and higher programming rights amortization and production costs at Fox Sports, as well as an approximately $30 million write-down of certain scripted programming at Fox Entertainment.
“Our topline growth in the quarter was propelled by pricing strength in both distribution and advertising revenue across our leadership brands, complemented by the powerful momentum we continue to see at Tubi,” Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Fox Nation, the company’s branded politically themed subscription streaming service, helped the company’s cable segment increase “other” revenue 22.5% to $140 million, from $120 million in the prior-year period. Fox attributed the increase in part to the timing of sports sublicensing revenue, which were impacted by COVID-19 in the prior year quarter, and higher Fox Nation subscription revenue.
Fox has not revealed Fox Nation subscriber data since launching the $5.99 monthly SVOD in 2018.