Fox News Q3 Earnings See Highest-Ever Profits

By Alex Weprin 

News Corp. announced its third quarter earnings today, and one of its highlights was Fox News Channel, which CFO Dave DeVoe says generated its highest quarterly operating profit ever. Overall the News Corp. cable properties constituted over 60% of operating income for the company.

Perhaps most interesting: On the conference call with analysts and the press, COO Chase Carey says that FNC will renegotiate its carriage fees with “slightly over half” of its carriage universe by Summer 2012.

FNC is currently available in over 95 million homes, so it will have renegotiated deals covering more than 47.5 million homes by then. SNL Kagan estimated earlier this year that FNC receives $0.58 per subscriber per month, though the Kagan estimates can lag behind deals.FNC has been said to be seeking deals as high as $1.25 per sub.

Carey also reiterated past statements he has made, saying that Fox News is “Second to ESPN in terms of clout in the marketplace,” while adding that with a Presidential election in 2012, the channel is expecting to generate higher advertising and carriage fees. FNC may use the upcoming election as a negotiating point with cable operators.

Time Warner, which owns CNN, and Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, also held earnings calls in the last day and a half. The news channels were not highlighted by executives on those calls, and their individual earnings were not broken out.