US entertainment giant Disney both posted improved first quarter revenues in the second financial quarter, while rival Fox saw sales drop.
The Walt Disney Company saw revenues in the three months to March 28 grow 7% and end at US$12.5 billion.
Within this, its media networks unit was up 13% and posted revenues of US$5.8 billion, with the ABC broadcast network seeing startling growth of 90%, with the launch of Marvel Entertainment-produced Netflix series Daredevil singled out as a driver.
However, Disney’s Burbank studio saw sales fall 6% year-on-year and come in at US$1.7 billion. Overall company net income was up 10% at US$2.1 billion.
Over at rival Fox revenues for the three months to March 31 took a US$1.4 billion tumble, with sales coming in at US$6.8 billion. This compares with US$8.2 billion in the same period a year ago.
The Fox broadcast network was down from US$1.6 billion a year ago to US$1.2 billion and operating income before depreciation and amortization dropped 51%, which was attributed to not having the Super Bowl and higher programming costs due to more original shows.
However, the company’s cable networks division grew revenues from US$3.2 billion to US$3.6 billion, and its filmed entertainment (studio) unit also grew marginally.
Overall company OIBDA was down slightly on 2014 Q2’s US$1.7 billion.
UK-based European paycaster Sky, which last year brought together its German and Italian cousins in one group, posted equity earnings of US$330 million compared with US$170 million the year before.
Fox has a 39.1% share in Sky, but its earnings from the unit were partially offset by losses at Endemol Shine Group, which was established as a joint venture with Apollo Global Management at the turn of the year.
ESG’s losses were primarily attributed to “debt revaluation and restructuring charges”, the latter pointing to the huge turnaround in staff since Endemol, Shine and Core Media began operating as a single group.