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News Corp Records 10% Revenue Decline, Foxtel Subscribers See Healthy Boost

News Corp has released its September earnings, reporting a 10% decline overall while other operational segments including its Foxtel subscribership saw a boost in numbers.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned media giant booked revenue of $US2.12 billion (A$2.9 billion) for the first quarter ending September 30, down from $US2.34 billion the previous year.

Despite the revenue decline, Foxtel saw its total paying subscribers increase by 7% to 3.287 million as of September 30.

There are currently 298,000 paying Foxtel Now subscribers and the brand’s sport subscription service Kayo has 644,000 paying users.

According to the report, Sports-focused Kayo staged a recovery, after a coronavirus-impacted fourth quarter, up 77% on last year.

News Corp says its decline was partially offset by cost savings across the businesses and lower sports rights and production costs at Foxtel related to COVID-19.

The company reported fiscal 2020 full year total revenues of $9.01 billion, an 11% decrease compared to $10.07 billion in the prior year.

As live sports resumed across Australia and elsewhere around the globe, Foxtel saw a modest improvement in advertising trends in July.

News Corp reports that assuming no further disruption to live sporting events, Foxtel will recognize approximately $55 million (A$78 million) of additional sports rights costs in fiscal 2021, which were deferred from fiscal 2020 due to the suspension of live sports in the fourth quarter.

“We saw increased profitability at Foxtel and our campaign to reset sports rights prices was successful. Just this week, we crossed the one million OTT paying subscribers mark, setting a new record thanks to our expanded streaming strategy,” said News Corp CEO Robert Thompson.

News Corp owns mastheads ­including The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun and international titles The Times and The New York Post.

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