News Corp isn't worried about the writers' strike or a consumer turndown--not after its numbers turned out to be so strong. And Rupert Murdoch is optimistic--the company raising its guidance for its fiscal year ending this summer. Murdoch said on the post-earnings conference call Monday afternoon: "We posted extraordinary numbers, a powerful sign our businesses are durable and positioned for the longer term."
Of course Sunday's Super Bowl game was a huge victory for Fox. Murdoch said the telecast generated the biggest one day revenue take in the company's history, $250 million in gross revenue, attracting 97.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched Super Bowl ever.
Oh, Murdoch says, NO--News Corp is definitely not going to make a bid for Yahoo , now in play since Microsoft made its mid. Murdoch said on the conference call "We are just not interested at this stage."
News Corp fiscal second quarter earnings came in just in line with analyst estimates, up one percent from the same quarter a year ago. News Corp revenues were up 10 percent from the year ago quarter, driven by success in its TV divisions. Operatingincome from broadcast TV more than doubled thanks to the Fox network's improved ratings and pricing, while the costs of Major Leage Baseball declined.
And the news channel's earnings rose 23 percent, though the costs of launching the new business channel offset that. Its film segment's operating income was down 14 percent from last year, but faced tough comps to big successes a year ago, including "Borat." Good news--the company is turning MySpace page views into revnue, thanks largely to a new ad deal with Google.
Of course everyone was wondering about the impact of News Corp's Dow Jones acquisition-- the newspaper division's profits were up $26 million to $196 million for the quarter, but the division's UK newspapers showed circulation declines, struggling to keep up.
When it comes to Dow Jones, Murdoch says he does NOT want to drop the subscription service to make the Journal free, as he'd previously implied. He's sticking with the current subscription model, which works for now.
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