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21st Century Fox to tread carefully with streaming video


MASSACHUSETTS- Twenty-First Century Fox Inc Chief Operating Officer, Chase Carey, said the company is being “disciplined” about its options when considering streaming video offerings that bypass cable and satellite subscriptions.

“We believe the traditional bundle offers great value to consumers and will be the primary consumer package for years to come,” Carey said on Tuesday during a third quarter earnings call with analysts.

He was referring to traditional cable packages that “bundle” together several channels for one price.

Consumers have drastically changed the way they watch television, opting for on-demand content offered by Netflix Inc or Amazon.com Inc that can be viewed on an array of devices from TVs to smartphones to tablets.

The shift has prompted several big media companies, notably Time Warner Inc and CBS Corp, to announce products that stream TV programmes and movies over the Internet without a cable subscription.

Carey said on the call that changing viewing habits “also means we’ll be able to engage the consumer more directly, to create more exciting and valuable experiences.

“We are not going to be reactive,” he added.

“We want to make sure we are proactive about forming our own judgments about what kinds of offerings that are additive to our business that exist today.”

Also on Tuesday, Fox reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit, helped by growth in its cable network and film studio businesses.

The company reported a 12 percent rise in revenue to 7.89 million dollars, which beat analysts’ average estimate of 6.25 billion dollars.

This was largely driven by the box-office success of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “The Fault in Our Stars.”

Fox shares rose 1.6 per cent to 33.85 dollars after the bell on Tuesday.

Revenue from cable networks, the company’s largest business, rose 15 per cent to 3.23 billion dollars, while filmed entertainment revenue was up 17 per cent at 2.48 billion dollars.

Revenue at the television division was flat at 1.05 billion dollars, held back by declining advertising revenue tied to weak ratings.

Net income attributable to shareholders fell to 1.04 billion dollars or 47 cents per share in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from 1.26 billion dolars or 54 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2013.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 39 cents per share. Analysts had expected a profit of 36 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters/B/E/S. (Reuters/Africa)

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