February 9, 2021
Fox Corp. Feb. 9 reported second-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2020) television segment revenue of $2.56 billion, up 13% ($290 million) from the previous-year period of $2.27 billion. Fox attributed the uptick to increases in advertising and affiliate revenue.
Advertising revenue increased $168 million, or 10%, to $1.84 billion, primarily due to record political advertising revenue and the impact of the consolidation of Tubi. Fox acquired the ad-supported VOD platform in 2019 for $440 million to compete against ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV and ongoing advertising migration to connected TVs.
Fox has aggressively marketed Tubi with access to original Fox content, including “The Masked Singer,” “The Masked Dancer” and “Name That Tune,” among other programming. Tubi Feb. 12 will exclusively stream Sundance Film Festival nominee Beast Beast. The AVOD is in the midst of a week-long promotional campaign with third-party vendors such as Postmates, Vizio, AdAge, “The Ellen Degeneres Show” and Roku.
The television segment reported a quarterly pre-tax loss of $185 million, an improvement of $29 million from the $214 million loss reported in the prior year quarter. The increase in expenses was primarily due to higher programming rights amortization at Fox Sports, led by contractual rights increases for NFL content, and the impact of the consolidation of Tubi, partially offset by the postponement of certain scripted programming at Fox Entertainment due to COVID-19.
The cable network programming segment, which includes Fox News, reported pre-tax income of $571 million, an increase of $15 million, or 3%, from the $556 million reported in the prior year quarter, primarily due to the revenue increases. Revenue increased 1% ($19 million) to $1.49 billion as higher advertising revenue were largely offset by lower affiliate and other revenues due to COVID-19.
“Once again, the company delivered exceptional operating and financial results,” CEO Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement. “Fox Television Stations, Fox News Media and Tubi all experienced record highs in the quarter, led by an unprecedented political advertising cycle at our local television stations, strong digital growth at Fox News Media and an influx of new advertisers at Tubi.”