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FOXA > SEC Filings for FOXA > Form 10-Q on 10-May-2013All Recent SEC Filings

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Form 10-Q for NEWS CORP


10-May-2013

Quarterly Report


ITEM 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

This document contains statements that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The words "expect," "estimate," "anticipate," "predict," "believe" and similar expressions and variations thereof are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements appear in a number of places in this document and include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of News Corporation, its directors or its officers with respect to, among other things, trends affecting News Corporation's financial condition or results of operations. The readers of this document are cautioned that any forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties. More information regarding these risks, uncertainties and other factors is set forth under the heading Part II "Other Information," Item 1A "Risk Factors" in this report. News Corporation does not ordinarily make projections of its future operating results and undertakes no obligation (and expressly disclaims any obligation) to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. Readers should carefully review this document and the other documents filed by News Corporation with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). This section should be read together with the unaudited consolidated financial statements of News Corporation and related notes set forth elsewhere herein and News Corporation's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2012 as filed with the SEC on August 14, 2012 and as amended on October 1, 2012 (the "2012 Form 10-K").

INTRODUCTION

Management's discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations is intended to help provide an understanding of News Corporation and its subsidiaries' (together, "News Corporation" or the "Company") financial condition, changes in financial condition and results of operations. This discussion is organized as follows:

Overview of the Company's Business-This section provides a general description of the Company's businesses, as well as developments that have occurred to date during fiscal 2013 that the Company believes are important in understanding its results of operations and financial condition or to disclose known trends.

Results of Operations-This section provides an analysis of the Company's results of operations for the three and nine months ended March 31, 2013 and 2012. This analysis is presented on both a consolidated and a segment basis. In addition, a brief description is provided of significant transactions and events that have an impact on the comparability of the results being analyzed.

Liquidity and Capital Resources-This section provides an analysis of the Company's cash flows for the nine months ended March 31, 2013 and 2012. Included in the discussion of outstanding debt is a discussion of the amount of financial capacity available to fund the Company's future commitments and obligations, as well as a discussion of other financing arrangements.

OVERVIEW OF THE COMPANY'S BUSINESS

The Company is a diversified global media company, which manages and reports its businesses in the following six segments:

Cable Network Programming, which principally consists of the production and licensing of programming distributed through cable television systems and direct broadcast satellite operators primarily in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Filmed Entertainment, which principally consists of the production and acquisition of live-action and animated motion pictures for distribution and licensing in all formats in all entertainment media worldwide, and the production and licensing of television programming worldwide.

Television, which principally consists of the broadcasting of network programming in the United States and the operation of 27 full power broadcast television stations, including 9 duopolies, in the United States (of these stations, 17 are affiliated with the FOX Broadcasting Company ("FOX") and 10 are affiliated with Master Distribution Service, Inc. ("MyNetworkTV")).

Direct Broadcast Satellite Television, which consists of the distribution of basic and premium programming services via satellite and cable directly to subscribers in Italy, Germany and Austria.


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Publishing, which principally consists of the Company's newspapers and information services, book publishing and integrated marketing services businesses. The newspapers and information services business principally consists of the publication of national newspapers in the United Kingdom, the publication of approximately 140 newspapers in Australia, the publication of a metropolitan newspaper and a national newspaper (with international editions) in the United States and the provision of information services. The book publishing business consists of the publication of English language books throughout the world and the integrated marketing services business consists of the publication of free-standing inserts and the provision of in-store marketing products and services in the United States and Canada.

Other, which principally consists of FOX SPORTS Australia, the leading sports programming provider in Australia, the Company's digital media properties and Amplify, the Company's education technology businesses.

Television and Cable Network Programming

The Company's television operations primarily consist of FOX, MyNetworkTV and the 27 television stations owned by the Company. In April 2013, the Company increased its television station ownership to 29 full power stations, resulting in ownership and operation of duopolies in 10 designated market areas.

The television operations derive revenues primarily from the sale of advertising and to a lesser extent retransmission consent revenue. Adverse changes in general market conditions for advertising may affect revenues. The U.S. television broadcast environment is highly competitive and the primary methods of competition are the development and acquisition of popular programming. Program success is measured by ratings, which are an indication of market acceptance, with the top rated programs commanding the highest advertising prices. FOX is a broadcast network and MyNetworkTV is a programming distribution service, airing original and off-network programming. FOX and MyNetworkTV compete with broadcast networks, such as ABC, CBS, NBC and The CW Television Network, independent television stations, cable and Direct Broadcast Satellite Television program services, as well as other media, including DVDs, Blu-rays, video games, print and the Internet for audiences, programming and, in the case of FOX, advertising revenues. In addition, FOX and MyNetworkTV compete with the other broadcast networks and other programming distribution services to secure affiliations with independently owned television stations in markets across the United States. ABC, NBC and CBS each broadcasts a significantly greater number of hours of programming than FOX and, accordingly, may be able to designate or change time periods in which programming is to be broadcast with greater flexibility than FOX. In addition, future technological developments may affect competition within the television marketplace.

U.S. law governing retransmission consent provides a mechanism for the television stations owned by the Company to seek and obtain payment from multi-channel video programming distributors who carry the Company's broadcast signals. Retransmission consent revenue consists of per subscriber-based compensatory fees paid to the Company by cable and satellite distribution systems that distribute the Company's television stations affiliated with FOX and MyNetworkTV. The Company also receives compensation from independently-owned television stations that are affiliated with FOX and MyNetworkTV.

The television stations owned and operated by the Company compete for programming, audiences and advertising revenues with other television stations and cable networks in their respective coverage areas and, in some cases, with respect to programming, with other station groups, and in the case of advertising revenues, with other local and national media. The competitive position of the television stations owned by the Company is largely influenced by the quality and strength of FOX and MyNetworkTV programming, and, in particular, the prime-time viewership of the respective network.

The Company's U.S. cable network operations primarily consist of the Fox News Channel ("FOX News"), FX Networks, LLC ("FX"), Regional Sports Networks ("RSNs"), the National Geographic Channels, SPEED and the Big Ten Network. The Company's international cable networks consist of the Fox International Channels ("FIC") and STAR. FIC produces and distributes entertainment, factual, sports, and movie channels through distribution channels in Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America using several brands, including Fox, Fox Crime, Fox Life and National Geographic Channel. STAR's owned and affiliated channels are distributed in the following countries and regions: India; Greater China; Indonesia; the rest of South East Asia; Pakistan; the Middle East and Africa; the United Kingdom and Europe; and North America.

Generally, the Company's cable networks, which target various demographics, derive a majority of their revenues from monthly affiliate fees received from cable television systems and direct broadcast satellite operators based on the number of their subscribers. Affiliate fee revenues are net of the amortization of cable distribution investments (capitalized fees paid to multi-channel video programming distributors to typically facilitate the carriage of a cable network). The Company defers the cable distribution investments and amortizes the amounts on a straight-line basis over the contract period. Cable television and direct broadcast satellite are currently the predominant means of distribution of the Company's program services in the United States. Internationally, distribution technology varies region by region.


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The Company's cable networks compete for carriage on cable television systems, direct broadcast satellite systems and other distribution systems with other program services. A primary focus of competition is for distribution of the Company's cable network channels that are not already distributed by particular cable television or direct broadcast satellite systems. For such program services, distributors make decisions on the use of bandwidth based on various considerations, including amounts paid by programmers for launches, subscription fees payable by distributors and appeal to the distributors' subscribers.

The most significant operating expenses of the Television segment and the Cable Network Programming segment are the acquisition and production expenses related to programming and the expenses related to operating the technical facilities of the broadcaster or cable network. Other expenses include promotional expenses related to improving the market visibility and awareness of the broadcaster or cable network and its programming. Additional expenses include sales commissions paid to the in-house advertising sales force, as well as salaries, employee benefits, rent and other routine overhead expenses.

The Company has several multi-year sports rights agreements, including contracts with the National Football League ("NFL") through fiscal 2023, contracts with the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing ("NASCAR") for certain races and exclusive rights for certain ancillary content through calendar year 2022, a contract with Major League Baseball ("MLB") through calendar year 2021 and other sports rights contracts. These contracts provide the Company with the broadcast rights to certain U.S. national sporting events during their respective terms. The costs of these sports contracts are charged to expense based on the ratio of each period's operating profit to estimated total operating profit for the remaining term of the contract.

The profitability of these long-term U.S. national sports contracts is based on the Company's best estimates as of March 31, 2013 of attributable revenues and costs; such estimates may change in the future and such changes may be significant. Should revenues decline from estimates applied as of March 31, 2013, additional amortization of rights may be recorded. Should revenues improve as compared to estimated revenues, the Company may have an improved operating profit related to the contract, which may be recognized over the remaining contract term.

While the Company seeks to ensure compliance with federal indecency laws and related Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") regulations, the definition of "indecency" is subject to interpretation and there can be no assurance that the Company will not broadcast programming that is ultimately determined by the FCC to violate the prohibition against indecency. Such programming could subject the Company to regulatory review or investigation, fines, adverse publicity or other sanctions, including the loss of station licenses.

Filmed Entertainment

The Filmed Entertainment segment derives revenue from the production and distribution of live-action and animated motion pictures and television series. In general, motion pictures produced or acquired for distribution by the Company are exhibited in U.S. and foreign theaters, followed by home entertainment, including sale and rental of DVDs and Blu-rays, video-on-demand and pay-per-view television, on-line and mobile distribution, premium subscription television, network television and basic cable and syndicated television exploitation. Television series initially produced for the networks and first-run syndication are generally licensed to domestic and international markets concurrently and subsequently released in seasonal DVD and Blu-ray box sets and made available via digital distribution platforms. More successful series are later syndicated in domestic markets. The length of the revenue cycle for television series will vary depending on the number of seasons a series remains in active production and, therefore, may cause fluctuations in operating results. License fees received for television exhibition (including international and U.S. premium television and basic cable television) are recorded as revenue in the period that licensed films or programs are available for such exhibition, which may cause substantial fluctuations in operating results.

The revenues and operating results of the Filmed Entertainment segment are significantly affected by the timing of the Company's theatrical and home entertainment releases, the number of its original and returning television series that are aired by television networks and the number of its television series in off-network syndication. Theatrical and home entertainment release dates are determined by several factors, including timing of vacation and holiday periods and competition in the marketplace. The distribution windows for the release of motion pictures theatrically and in various home entertainment products and services (including subscription rentals, rental kiosks and Internet streaming services), have been compressing and may continue to change in the future. A further reduction in timing between theatrical and home entertainment releases could adversely affect the revenues and operating results of this segment.


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The Company enters into arrangements with third parties to co-produce many of its theatrical productions. These arrangements, which are referred to as co-financing arrangements, take various forms. The parties to these arrangements include studio and non-studio entities, both domestic and foreign. In several of these agreements, other parties control certain distribution rights. The Filmed Entertainment segment records the amounts received for the sale of an economic interest as a reduction of the cost of the film, as the investor assumes full risk for that portion of the film asset acquired in these transactions. The substance of these arrangements is that the third-party investors own an interest in the film and, therefore, receive a participation based on the respective third-party investor's interest in the profits or losses incurred on the film. Consistent with the requirements of Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") 926 "Entertainment-Films" ("ASC 926"), the estimate of a third-party investor's interest in profits or losses incurred on the film is determined by reference to the ratio of actual revenue earned to date in relation to total estimated ultimate revenues.

Operating costs incurred by the Filmed Entertainment segment include:
exploitation costs, primarily theatrical prints and advertising and home entertainment marketing and manufacturing costs; amortization of capitalized production, overhead and interest costs; and participations and talent residuals. Selling, general and administrative expenses include salaries, employee benefits, rent and other routine overhead.

The Company competes with other film studios, such as Disney, Paramount, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros. and other independent film producers in the production and distribution of motion pictures, DVDs and Blu-rays. As a producer and distributor of television programming, the Company competes with studios, television production groups and independent producers and syndicators, such as Disney, Sony, NBC Universal, Warner Bros. and Paramount Television, to sell programming both domestically and internationally. The Company also competes to obtain creative talent and story properties, which are essential to the success of the Company's filmed entertainment businesses.

Direct Broadcast Satellite Television

The Direct Broadcast Satellite Television ("DBS") segment's operations consist of SKY Italia and Sky Deutschland, which provide basic and premium programming services via satellite and cable directly to subscribers in Italy, Germany and Austria. The DBS segment derives revenues principally from subscriber fees. The Company believes that the quality and variety of programming, audio and interactive programming including personal video recorders, quality of picture including high definition channels, access to service, customer service and price are the key elements for gaining and maintaining market share. The DBS segment's competition includes companies that offer video, audio, interactive programming, telephony, data and other information and entertainment services, including broadband Internet providers, digital terrestrial transmission ("DTT") services, wireless companies and companies that are developing new media technologies.

The DBS segment's most significant operating expenses are those related to the acquisition of entertainment, movie and sports programming and subscribers and the expenses related to operating the technical facilities. Operating expenses related to sports programming are generally recognized over the course of the related sport season, which may cause fluctuations in the operating results of this segment.

The continued challenging economic environment in Europe has contributed to a reduction in consumer spending and has posed challenges for subscriber retention and growth. If this trend continues, it could have a material effect on the operating results of the DBS segment.

Publishing

The Company's Publishing segment consists of the Company's newspapers and information services, book publishing and integrated marketing services businesses and the related digital formats.

Revenue is derived from the sale of advertising space, newspapers, books and subscriptions, as well as licensing. Adverse changes in general market conditions for advertising may affect revenues. Circulation and subscription revenues can be greatly affected by changes in the prices of the Company's and/or competitors' products, as well as by promotional activities.

Operating expenses include costs related to paper, production, distribution, editorial, commissions and royalties. Selling, general and administrative expenses include promotional expenses, salaries, employee benefits, rent and other routine overhead.

The Publishing segment's advertising volume, circulation, and the price of paper are the key variables whose fluctuations can have a material effect on the Company's operating results and cash flow. The Company has to anticipate the level of advertising volume, circulation and paper prices in managing its businesses to maximize operating profit during expanding and contracting economic


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cycles. The Company continues to be exposed to risks associated with paper used for printing. Paper is a basic commodity and its price is sensitive to the balance of supply and demand. The Company's expenses are affected by the cyclical increases and decreases in the price of paper. The Publishing segment's products compete for readership and advertising with local and national competitors and also compete with other media alternatives in their respective markets. Competition for circulation and subscriptions is based on the content of the products provided, service, pricing and, from time to time, various promotions. The success of these products depends upon advertisers' judgments as to the most effective use of their advertising budgets. Competition for advertising is based upon the reach of the products, advertising rates and advertiser results. Such judgments are based on factors such as cost, availability of alternative media, distribution and quality of readership demographics.

Like other newspaper publishing groups, the Company faces challenges to its traditional print business model from new media formats and shifting consumer preferences. The Company is also exposed to the impact of long-term structural movements in advertising spending in particular, the move in classified advertising from print to digital. These new media formats could impact the Company's performance, positively or negatively.

As a multi-platform news provider, the Company recognizes the importance of maximizing revenues from new media, both in terms of paid-for content and in new advertising models, and continues to invest in its digital products. The development of technologies such as smartphones, tablets and similar devices and their related applications provides opportunities for the Company to make available its journalism to a new audience of readers, introduce new or different pricing schemes, develop its products to continue to attract advertisers and/or affect the relationship between publisher and consumer. The Company continues to develop and implement strategies to exploit its content in new media channels, including the introduction of paywalls around its newspaper websites.

Other

The Other segment consists primarily of:

FOX SPORTS Australia

FOX SPORTS Australia is Australia's leading sports programmer based on total subscribers. FOX SPORTS Australia is focused on live national and international sports events and is distributed via long-term carriage agreements with various pay-TV providers (mainly Foxtel) in Australia. FOX SPORTS Australia provides featured original and licensed premium sports content tailored to the Australian market. FOX SPORTS Australia's channels provide premium compelling live broadcasts, including almost every game of the highly popular Australian Football League.

Prior to November 2012, the Company owned a 50% interest in FOX SPORTS Australia, which the Company accounted for as an equity investment. In November 2012, the Company acquired Consolidated Media Holdings Limited ("CMH"), a media investment company that owned the remaining 50% interest in FOX SPORTS Australia. As a result of the CMH acquisition, the Company's ownership interest in FOX SPORTS Australia increased to 100% and, accordingly, the results of FOX SPORTS Australia are included in the Company's combined results of operations beginning in November 2012.

Digital Media Group

The Company sells advertising, sponsorships and subscription services on the Company's various digital media properties, including REA Group Limited ("REA"), the Australian online real estate advertising service. Significant expenses associated with the Company's digital media properties include development costs, advertising and promotional expenses, salaries, employee benefits and other routine overhead.

Education Group

Amplify, the Company's digital education business focused on the K-12 learning market, has three businesses: analytics and assessment, digital content and curriculum and mobile distribution systems designed for education. Significant expenses associated with the Company's digital education business include salaries, employee benefits and other routine overhead.

Other Business Developments

In July 2011, the Company announced that it would close its publication, The News of the World, after allegations of phone hacking and payments to public officials. As a result of management's approval of the shutdown of The News of the World, the Company has reorganized portions of the U.K. newspaper business and has recorded restructuring charges in fiscal 2013 and 2012 primarily for


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termination benefits and certain organizational restructuring at the U.K. newspapers. (See Note 4 - Restructuring Programs) The Company is subject to several ongoing investigations by U.K. and U.S. regulators and governmental authorities relating to phone hacking, illegal data access and inappropriate payments to officials at The News of the World and The Sun and related matters (the "U.K. Newspaper Matters"). The Company is cooperating with these investigations. In addition, the Company has admitted liability in many civil cases related to the phone hacking allegations and has settled many cases. The Company created an independently-chaired Management & Standards Committee (the "MSC"), which operates independently from NI Group Limited ("News International") and has full authority to ensure cooperation with all relevant investigations and inquiries into the U.K. Newspaper Matters and all other related issues. The MSC conducts its own internal investigation where appropriate. The MSC has an independent Chairman, Lord Grabiner QC, and reports directly to Gerson Zweifach, Senior Executive Vice President and Group General Counsel of the Company. Mr. Zweifach reports to the independent members of the Board of Directors (the "Board") through their representative Viet Dinh, an independent director and Chairman of the Company's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. The independent directors of the Board have retained independent outside counsel and are actively engaged in these matters. The MSC conducted an internal investigation of the three other titles at NI Group Limited ("News International") and engaged independent outside counsel to advise it on these investigations and all other matters it handles. As a result of these matters, News International has instituted governance reforms and issued certain enhanced policies to its employees.

On June 28, 2012, the Company announced its intent to pursue the separation of . . .

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