Fox Corp. held its Q1 2021 results earnings call on Election Day morning, and the returns being reported were good. Especially in the cable TV segment.
Chief executive officer Lachlan Murdoch reported that Fox Corp. cable network programming—which includes Fox News and FBN along with sports channels like FS1—reported quarterly earnings of $1.3 billion, which is a 3% increase and a record for the company’s cable television segment.
“In the media company’s most recent quarter, millions in political advertising and sky-high ratings on cable helped offset the Covid-19-related losses that have been battering the TV industry,” writes Adweek’s Kelsey Sutton.
Murdoch told investors on the Q1 2021 results earnings call that ad revenues in the cable TV segment were up 18% to $45 million, driven primarily by higher pricing and strong ratings at Fox News, where ad revenue is up an impressive 36% in the quarter.
Political advertising, in particular, has been a “monster” asset for the company, chief financial officer Steven Silvester Tomsic said, bringing in just under $100 million in quarterly revenue. It’s a quarterly political advertising record, and while about 70% of it came from Fox’s local stations, record spending is also benefiting Fox’s national channels.
“In prior years, political advertising has been almost entirely local, and the growth in national political advertising—particularly on Fox News, but also importantly in sports—has been a new and, I think, a very positive development,” Murdoch said.