News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) executives said the company more than doubled the retransmission-consent fees it collects from cable operators and satellite TV providers during the quarter ending Sept. 30.
The media giant said that its television segment generated $156 million in operating income for its fiscal first quarter of 2013, up 17 percent compared to the same period last year. Increased retransmission-consent fees represented the biggest area of growth for the TV segment.
While some broadcasters have been attempting to strike retransmission-consent deals with cable and satellite affiliates for terms that run as long as 10 years, News Corp. COO Chase Carey told analysts that the company prefers to cut shorter multi-year deals for its TV stations.
"We strive to keep the agreement short. We believe content is increasingly important and we would rather be able to continue to have the flexibility to get rewarded for being successful and creating great content that franchise these brands," Carey said on the company's earnings call Tuesday.
News Corp. has also been tying retransmission-consent deals to TV Everywhere agreements that allow cable and satellite affiliates to offer their subscribers the ability to access full-length versions of The Simpsons, Fringe and other hit series on the Web and mobile devices.
FX, Fox News Channel, regional sports networks and other networks helped News Corp. generate $953 million in operating income from its cable network programming segment during the quarter. Affiliate revenue grew 16 percent, News Corp. said.
News Corp. reported $8.14 billion in total revenue during its fiscal first quarter, up 2 percent compared to the same period last year. It posted $2.23 billion (94 cents per share) in net income, up from $732 million (28 cents per share) last year.
- see the earnings release
- see transcript from earnings call
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