Thanks in large part to American Idol: Search for a Superstar, Joe Millionaire and drama
series 24, the Fox broadcasting network posted an $82 million swing in
operating cash flow for the quarter ended March 31, to $37 million from a loss
of $45 million for the same period a year ago.
Fox, which reported earnings for the quarter Tuesday, also indicated that the
2002 period included losses associated with the network's coverage of the Super
Bowl last year. Revenues for the network in the quarter were up marginally to
$558 million from $553 million.
TV-station revenue was up 6 percent in the quarter to $463 million, while
cash flow was up 3 percent. In addition to higher prime-time ratings, the
company cited higher ratings for local newscasts.
Fox's cable-network revenues grew 18 percent in the quarter to $515 million
with cash-flow growth of 28 percent to $106 million.
The company cited "strong revenue growth across all primary cable-television
channels, mitigated by the impact of war coverage at Fox News [Channel]."