No earnings announcement but Foxtel earnings are up 12.5%, subscriber growth subdued.
Foxtel did not release its (expected) earnings results today, due to an unprecedented decision said to be taken by shareholders of its parent company News Corp in the US.
The Pay TV giant is 50% owned by News Limited, while Telstra owns the remaining 50%.
News Corp, who is presently splitting the company, is currently believed to be working out its company disclosure requirements.
However, the decision is said to be temporary as there will be future disclosures of Foxtel earnings. This is the first time this has occurred and the timing is interesting, considering its the first earnings announcement with News Limited as a direct shareholder in Foxtel, having bought out Consolidated Media Holdings’ (CMH) share of the company and 100% of Fox Sports late last year.
News Corp did confirm in its quarterly earnings statement today, that it made gains due to the acquisition of Fox Sports here in Oz and Fox Star Sports Asia.
Foxtel’s pre tax earnings (EBIT) rose 12.5%, a Foxtel spokesperson told SmartHouse today. “The results are quite encouraging if you look at the state of the media at the moment,” the spokesperson said.
Subscriber growth was “subdued” but has seen strong growth in average revenue per user, which has remained “steady” as Foxtel subscribers are buying more additional content – on-demand movies, adding more channel tiers, sports or a second HD box, the spokesperson added.
In August, CMH said Foxtel had 1.68 million subscribers, up from 1.65 m the year prior.
However, Telstra who own 50% of Foxtel said its Digital Media revenues, fell 7% to $909 million.
Telstra said its cable revenue increased by 5.2% to $61 milllion due to higher Foxtel revenue from cable customers.This growth in cable was partially offset by lower digital content revenue.
A spokesperson for the Pay TV giant, said its integration with Austar which it purchased last year, was going very well and synergy savings exceeded forecasts.
Foxtel’s spokesperson also said it is “happy” with the result and had a “good platform” from which to grow.
The more it can enhance its offering through service’s like Foxtel Now (free) iPad app, the stickier the customer becomes, the spokesperson added.
The Pay TV giant has made no secret of the fact it wishes to grow its subscriber base to the UK – like levels similar to its sister company, BSkyB.
The Olympics was also a winner for Foxtel during July-December period and gave a “significant boost” in penetration of sports content among its user base.
Telstra’s TV revenue which includes its T-Box grew by 1% to $333 million, driven primarily by IPTV Content (BigPond Movies and Foxtel on T- Box).
CMH Jumps On Foxtel