Virus Set To KO Kayo? Murdoch Preps For Likely Covid-19 Hit
SYDNEY/NEW YORK: It would appear no company is immune to COVID-19, with media giants also in the firing line including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which has tipped the virus will have a “material adverse impact” on its business.
Already it has impinged on the number of subscriptions to pay-TV company Foxtel and sports streaming service Kayo, along with a collapse in real-estate listings and advertising sales.
Subscriber numbers at Foxtel fell to 2.95 million for the December quarter, down from 3.065 million at the end of September. Meanwhile, streaming service Kayo’s paying subscriber base was 350,000, a fall from 402,000 on November 5 last year.
News Corp Australia, which owns The Australian and Daily Telegraph newspapers, announced a range of cost-cutting measures two weeks ago, axing print publication for 60 community newspapers, along with reduced working hours and salary cuts for executives.
News Corp and other media companies affected by the pandemic – including Seven West Media, Ten, oOh! Media and Southern Cross Australia – are all lobbying governments for a bail out.