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May 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

What a difference a Super Bowl can make! Fox’s quarterly income may have been hit hard by plunging ratings for American Idol and low-to-mediocre results for everything else on its program schedule, but those disappointments were more than offset by earnings from ad sales for its NFL playoff and Super Bowl telecasts. Commented Forbes magazine: “The third-largest point differential in Super Bowl history may have been a snoozefest for everyone other than Seahawk loyalists, but 21st Century Fox is laughing all the way to the bank.” The company, comprised of the entertainment assets of the former News Corp, reported $8.2 billion in third-quarter revenue, beating analysts’ expectations of $7.99 billion. Company Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch also had no illusions about what accounted for the difference. “The sizable audiences of our live television events, led by the most-watched Super Bowl in history, underscore the value of our investments in live sports programming, both in the U.S. and internationally,” he said. Broadcast revenue shot up 30 percent in the quarter while cable rose 11 percent, mostly due to increased payments from cable and satellite providers. Not so impressive was the performance of its filmed entertainment unit, led by the 20th Century Fox studio. Its revenue was down 3 percent from the year-ago quarter and much of it came from producing and syndicating television programs for its own network and others and a licensing deal with Amazon.