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News Corporation Reports Second Quarter Results For Fiscal 2014

Stocks in this article: NWS NWSA

Prior to the separation, the Company’s Statement of Operations included allocations of general corporate expenses for certain support functions that were provided on a centralized basis by 21st Century Fox. For the three months ended December 31, 2013, the Company’s Statement of Operations reflects actual corporate overhead costs incurred by the Company as it performed these functions using its own resources or purchased services from either third parties or 21st Century Fox.

In the second quarter of fiscal 2014, News Corp incurred gross fees and costs of $51 million related to the U.K. Newspaper Matters compared to $49 million incurred in the prior year. The net impact on Segment EBITDA after indemnification from 21st Century Fox was $19 million in the current quarter.


Quarterly equity earnings from affiliates were $17 million compared to $28 million in the prior year. The lower contribution primarily reflects the absence of the Company’s 44% stake in SKY Network Television Ltd. which was sold in March 2013 and the consolidation of FOX SPORTS Australia in November 2012. Partially offsetting this decline was a higher contribution from Foxtel due mainly to the Company’s increased ownership to 50% from 25% in November 2012.

  For the three months ended   For the six months ended
December 31, December 31,
2013   2012 2013   2012
(in millions) (in millions)
Foxtel (a) $ 17 $ 8 $ 30 $ 13
Pay television and cable network programming equity affiliates (b) - 20 - 42
Other equity affiliates   -     -     -     (1 )
Total equity earnings of affiliates $ 17   $ 28   $ 30   $ 54  
(a)   The Company owned 25% of Foxtel through November 2012. In November 2012, the Company increased its ownership in Foxtel to 50% as a result of the CMH acquisition. The Company amortized $15 million and $31 million related to excess cost over the Company’s proportionate share of its investment’s underlying net assets allocated to finite-lived intangible assets during the three and six months ended December 31, 2013, respectively, and $6 million in both the corresponding periods of fiscal 2013. Such amortization is reflected in Equity earnings of affiliates in the Statements of Operations.
(b) Includes equity earnings of FOX SPORTS Australia and SKY Network Television Ltd. The Company acquired the remaining interest in FOX SPORTS Australia in November 2012 as a result of the CMH acquisition and sold its investment in SKY Network Television Ltd. in March 2013. The results of FOX SPORTS Australia have been included within the Cable Network Programming segment in the Company’s consolidated results of operations since November 2012.

On a U.S. GAAP basis, Foxtel revenues were higher in local currency. However, in U.S. dollars, revenues for the six months ended December 31, 2013 decreased $148 million to $1,457 million from $1,605 million in the corresponding prior year period. Operating income before depreciation and amortization was higher in local currency reflecting the realization of cost savings from the Austar acquisition and the absence of costs associated with the London Olympics. However, in U.S. dollars, operating income before depreciation and amortization decreased $12 million to $431 million from $443 million. Depreciation and amortization for the six months ended December 31, 2013 and 2012 was $171 million and $229 million, respectively, reflecting foreign exchange fluctuations and reduced Austar intangible amortization. Total closing subscribers were 2.5 million in the six months ended December 31, 2013, a 5% increase compared to the prior year period driven by an increase in digital platform subscribers. Churn improved to 12.4% from 14.2% in the prior year.

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