Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOX) Q1 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

Nov 02, 2016 • 04:30 pm ET


Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOX) Q1 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript


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James Murdoch

Thanks very much, John. Good afternoon everyone. So as you've heard the fiscal year has Started well. So I just like to spend a minute on some highlights and then some things to focus on going forward. First, I want to reiterate that our strategy, a focus on big brands that matter for customers and investment on screen that clearly differentiates in our detention and a program of work to make our programming and products more available not less is paying dividends.

Furthermore, the changes we've made to the organization are delivering a leaner and more capable company and the team continues to move at a very fast pace. Creatively the business is in good health. FX has set a new industry record for basic cable wins at the Emmy this year and our original series American Horror Story launched as the highest rated cable TV series and a new series Atlanta ranks number two in comedies behind only South Park. National Geographic's new programming strategy is just now kicking in with the November 14 premiere of its first global event series Mars, which begins its new premium programming push.

And on the broadcast television side, we got real traction of the Start of the new season with a number of new series, including Lethal Weapon, Pitch, The Exorcist and Son of Zorn. Currently network entertainment advertising is pacing ahead of last year after a summer that saw a lot of demand absorbed by the Olympics broadcast on NBC. At the television studio, we're excited that we have three of the top four scripted series on broadcast television today, with Empire, This is Us and Modern Family.

Fox Sports 1 recently marked its third anniversary and its highest viewership ever. In fact the last two weeks marked its most watched in the highest rate weeks in the networks history beating ESPN around the clock for the first time ever. In addition to the strength in live events, FS1 focused on building its pre and post-game programming is paying dividends. And the studio shows from, Skip and Shannon to the Herd and Garbage Time and Fox Sports live are surging and hitting ratings highs.

As for broadcast sports, the World Series has delivered the largest live baseball audience in over a decade, generating huge amount of interest from advertisers and pricing accordingly. We're also pleased with how well Fox is doing with its NFL programming. While there's a lot of noise about declining NFL ratings, Fox's game day viewership on Sunday is holding up well and is within 4 percentage points of last year. Meanwhile our NFL game continues to be televisions highest rated and most watched show in any day part averaging over 25 million viewers. And from an advertising perspective, we continue a strong pace over where we were last year at this time with the year-to-year NFL ad pricing increases in the high single digits. Our regional sports networks continue to excel. We had a great baseball season with