The movie segment reported fourth quarter operating income of $109
million, up $14 million from the $95 million reported in the same
period a year ago, and record full year operating income of $1.1
billion, up 17 per cent from the $905 million reported in fiscal
2004. Current quarter and full year results primarily reflect solid
worldwide theatrical and pay-TV revenues and strong contributions
from film and television home entertainment releases.
The results were largely driven by the home entertainment performances
of Alien vs. Predator, Sideways and Napoleon Dynamite,
as well as contributions from various catalogyue titles including
Ice Age. Additionally, the worldwide theatrical distribution
of Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith and Mr. and
Mrs. Smith, as well as the pay-TV availability of The Day
After Tomorrow and Garfield contributed to the strong
fourth quarter results.
Cable network programming reported fourth quarter operating income
of $137 million, an increase of $17 million over the fourth quarter
a year ago and record full year operating income of $702 million,
an increase of $214 million over 2004. Fox News Channel (FNC) reported
operating income growth of 30 per cent for the fourth quarter and
40 per cent for the full year fuelled primarily by double-digit
advertising revenue growth, which was partially offset by higher
costs associated with covering international breaking news stories.
During the quarter News Corp states that FNC further increased its
leadership position as the number one cable news channel, more than
doubling the viewership of its nearest competitor in prime-time
and nearly 90 per cent higher on a 24-hour basis.
The net a priority for the future: Going forward media reports
indicate that News Corp is preparing to spend up to $2 billion on
the internet. Murdoch has said that this is the group's top priority
as far as global expansion is concerned. It is said to be looking
at buying a small internet search engine and is also developing
its own mass entertainment website. The Fox sites that are present
at the moment are more promotional in nature.
So far this year, the company has spent more than $700 million
investing in Web companies. As had been reported last month by Indiantelevision.com
News Corp signed a definitive agreement to acquire Intermix Media
for approximately $580 million. With the addition of MySpace,and
Intermix’s network of sites, News Corp expects its web traffic in
the US to nearly double to more than 45 million unique monthly users.