Foxtel Group streaming subscription numbers have gone up, as revealed in News Corp’s third quarter Fiscal 2022 results for the period ending March 31, 2022.
In addition to subscriber highlights for the Foxtel Group, the report also showed the financial results for the Subscription Video Services segment.
Key Foxtel Group Subscriber Metrics:
• Total Foxtel Group subscribers were 4.54 million (4.34 million paid) as at March 31, up 20% on the prior year.
• Total streaming subscribers, including Kayo Sports, BINGE and Foxtel Now reached 2.78 million (2.54 million paid), up 52% YoY and 21% on the prior quarter.
– Streaming subscribers represent 61% of the Foxtel Group’s total subscribers.
– Kayo Sports reached 1.21 million subscribers (1.15 million paid), up 32% YoY and 17% higher than the prior quarter.
– BINGE reached 1.31 million subscribers (1.21 million paid), up 92% YoY and 26% on the prior quarter.
– Foxtel Now reached 215,000 subscribers (206,000 paid), down 10% YoY.
• Foxtel Residential and Commercial broadcast subscribers were 1.762 million.
– Foxtel Residential Broadcast subscribers declined to 1.52 million, down 11% YoY.
– ARPU was up 1.8% YoY to A$81.70 through a continued focus on Foxtel’s premium brand positioning.
– Foxtel Residential Broadcast churn improved 580 basis points to 14.3% compared to the prior year.
News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson said at the Q3 FY22 Investor Briefing: “In Subscription Video Services, the third quarter saw continued progress in reshaping the Foxtel Group as a growth‐oriented subscription business, with continued success in streaming, stable revenues and solid cash generation.
“Notably, Kayo and Binge both surged in the quarter, and are now reaching record numbers of subscribers. Kayo plans to implement a price increase as it benefits from its scaled platform and high quality production, which is driving record ratings at the start of the season for both the NRL and the AFL. Overall, total paying streaming subs reached nearly 2.6 million, up 62 percent.
Thomson said they are please with Foxtel’s turnaround and are optimistic about the company’s near and long-term future.
“We are continuing to explore all options for Foxtel to maximize its value, while watching closely all relevant developments in the financial markets,” he added.
Susan Panuccio, News Corp CFO, said: “Revenues for the quarter were US$494 million, relatively stable from the second quarter, and down approximately 6% compared to the prior year on a reported basis due to foreign currency headwinds.
“On an adjusted basis, revenues rose 1%, a strong improvement from the second quarter rate of minus 3%. Streaming revenues which now account for 20% of circulation and subscription revenues, saw notable acceleration in the growth rate from the second quarter.
“Total closing paid subscribers across the Foxtel Group reached 4.3 million at quarter end, up 23% year‐over‐year. Total subscribers, including trialists, were over 4.5 million. The year‐over‐year increase was driven by higher Binge and Kayo subscribers, partially offset by the expected decline in residential broadcast subscribers. Commercial subscriptions rose modestly over the prior year, helped by the easing of lockdown restrictions.
“Total streaming subscribers reached over 2.7 million, with paying subscribers up 62% from the prior year and 421,000 sequentially to approximately 2.6 million. Streaming subscribers reached 59% of Foxtel’s total paid subscriber base.
“Kayo benefited from the return of the winter sports codes and saw record early ratings, with total subscribers over 1.2 million. 138,000 paid subscribers were added in the quarter, a notable acceleration from the second quarter, taking paid subscribers to over 1.1 million.
The CFO also noted the Binge had a strong quarter with total subscribers increasing to over 1.3 million, adding 284,000 subscribers in the quarter – the most additions since the launch of the service in 2020.
Panuccio added that growth continued to be driven by the depth and diversity of content and the popularity of shows such as Binge original Love Me, Euphoria, and the Walking Dead.
“Foxtel ended the quarter with over 1.5 million residential broadcast subscribers, down approximately 11%, with the rate of decline stable versus the second quarter. Commercial subscribers ended the quarter at 240,000 an improvement both sequentially and year‐over‐year.
“Retaining high value customers remains the focus for Broadcast subscribers which has led to churn improvements, with churn reducing almost 6 percentage points year‐over‐year in the quarter to 14.3%, which reflects eight consecutive months of year‐over‐year churn reduction. Broadcast ARPU steadily rose by 2% to A$82.
“Segment EBITDA in the quarter of US$79 million was down 13% versus the prior year, driven by higher programming costs, partly due to increased availability of entertainment content, as well as modestly higher marketing investment in streaming. Cost control remains a key focus at Foxtel and we continue to expect full year costs to be flat versus the prior year in local currency which is helping to underpin strong cash generation. The fourth quarter Segment EBITDA will face more favourable prior year comparisons.”
Looking to the rest of the year, Panuccio said: “In Subscription Video Services, we remain pleased with the performance of the streaming products and the ongoing focus on Broadcast ARPU and churn.
“As mentioned earlier, we expect full year costs in local currency to be relatively flat versus the prior year and we expect improvement in profitability in the fourth quarter against the prior year,” she added.