Fox Corp. beat Wall Street forecasts for earnings per share and was in line with revenue in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report Tuesday morning.
However, the company also saw its advertising revenue decline 4% year-over-year to $1 billion, with impacts on both its broadcast and cable networks.
In streaming, the drop was due to lower revenue from political advertising, which was offset by higher revenue from free streaming service Tubi. On cable, the impact was “primarily due to the continued impact of high bid in the direct response market” on Fox News. Fox News kicked out its 8 pm anchor Tucker Carlson in the quarter, resulting in lower ratings for that hour. It’s unclear how much of an impact Carlson’s departure had.
Fox’s total revenue was $3 billion in the quarter, just slightly less than a year ago, as higher affiliate fees on Fox’s broadcast network helped offset declines in advertising as well as another decrease in affiliate rates on cable “as contractual price.” the increases were more than offset by the impact of net subscriber declines.”
The company said it was reducing its spending on Fox News, reducing its “digital investment and news-gathering costs in Fox News Media.”
“Fiscal year 2023 showcased the best of Fox’s portfolio while delivering record annual revenue and EBITDA,” Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch said. “From the exceptional sports calendar that included Super Bowl LVII and the FIFA Men’s World Cup, to the record-breaking midterm political cycle and the impressive growth seen on Tubi, the power of the Fox platform was at the ready. view. We enter fiscal 2024 with a focused strategy and best-in-class balance sheet as we continue to drive shareholder value.”