Higher TV revenue boosts News Corp earnings

News Corp's Rupert Murdoch - US TV Business Boosted Profits

News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch – US TV Business Boosted Profits

The media giant News Corporation controlled by billionaire Rupert Murdoch has reported a 150 percent jump in its profits for the last three months of 2010, thanks to the booming television business.

Sales were reported at $8.76 billion while profit jumped to $642 million (£385 million) from $254 million, reported over the same period in 2009.

The firm saw strong advertising revenue growth from its US cable channels, such as FOX news, it said.

The company had however, had to write-off losses worth $275 million on restructuring its money-losing internet business Myspace.

News Corp’s Chief operating Officer Chase Carey said that the company is considering strategic options for Myspace – hinting that it may sell off the business and exit.

The media conglomerate owns cable channels such as Fox broadcast and cable networks, National Geographic and Fox Sports, film studio 20th Century Fox, book publisher like Harper Collins and news papers such as the Times and the Wall Street Journal.

News Corp’s strong performance comes soon after rival Time Warner also reported profit jump in its television business.

To cater to Apple iPad owners, the company launched a digital news paper on Wednesday called The Daily. The new launch should be an “indispensable source of news” for the tablet generation, Mr. Murdoch hoped.

In the UK, News Corp is entangled in controversy over its latest takeover bid of BSkyB and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said last week he intends to refer the matter to the Competition Commission.

News Corp owns 39 percent in BSkyB and is trying to increase its stake. Mr. Hunt has given News Corp extra-time to prove that the takeover does not pose “potential threats to media plurality”.

In the UK, the group owns newspapers such as the Sun, the Sunday Times and the Times and News of the World.

The company has got involved in another controversy of phone hacking in recent weeks.             The police launched a fresh investigation against The News of the World after getting “significant new information”, about their involvement.

News of the World is being sued by several celebrities, including jockey Kieren Fallon, football agent Sky Andrew and TV presenter Chris Tarrant, over phone hacking allegations.

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