10-K 1 fox-10k_20150630.htm 10-K fox-10k_20150630.htm

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, DC 20549

 

FORM 10-K

 

ANNUAL REPORT

PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)

OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

(Mark One)

x

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015

or

¨

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 or 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from        to       

Commission file number 001-32352

 

TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY FOX, INC.

(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)

 

 

Delaware

 

26-0075658

(State or Other Jurisdiction of

Incorporation or Organization)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification No.)

 

1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York

 

10036

(Address of Principal Executive Offices)

 

(Zip Code)

Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (212) 852-7000

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

 

Title of Each Class

 

 

 

Name of Each Exchange On Which Registered

 

Class A Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

 

The NASDAQ Global Select Market

Class B Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share

 

The NASDAQ Global Select Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

(Title of class)

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933.    Yes  x    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.    Yes  ¨    No   x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes  x    No  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes  x    No  ¨

Indicate by a check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer  x

 Accelerated filer  ¨

Non-accelerated filer  ¨

Smaller reporting company  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934).    Yes  ¨    No   x

As of December 31, 2014, which was the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter, the aggregate market value of the registrant’s Class A Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share, held by non-affiliates was approximately $50,798,965,818, based upon the closing price of $38.41 per share as quoted on the NASDAQ Stock Market on that date, and the aggregate market value of the registrant’s Class B Common Stock, par value $0.01 per share, held by non-affiliates was approximately $17,950,963,365, based upon the closing price of $36.89 per share as quoted on the NASDAQ Stock Market on that date.

As of August 7, 2015, 1,220,939,959 shares of Class A Common Stock and 798,520,953 shares of Class B Common Stock were outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Certain information required for Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K is incorporated by reference to the Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. definitive Proxy Statement for its 2015 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, which shall be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, within 120 days of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc.’s fiscal year end.

 

 

 

 

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

  

 

  

Page

 

PART I

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 1.

  

BUSINESS

  

 

3

  

ITEM 1A.

  

RISK FACTORS

  

 

24

  

ITEM 1B.

  

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

  

 

30

  

ITEM 2.

  

PROPERTIES

  

 

30

  

ITEM 3.

  

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

  

 

31

  

ITEM 4.

  

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

  

 

31

  

 

 

 

PART II

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 5.

  

MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

  

 

32

  

ITEM 6.

  

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

  

 

34

  

ITEM 7.

  

MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

  

 

35

  

ITEM 7A.

  

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

  

 

65

  

ITEM 8.

  

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

  

 

67

  

ITEM 9.

  

CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

  

 

146

  

ITEM 9A.

  

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

  

 

146

  

ITEM 9B.

  

OTHER INFORMATION

  

 

146

  

 

 

 

PART III

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 10.

  

DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

  

 

147

  

ITEM 11.

  

EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

  

 

147

  

ITEM 12.

  

SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

  

 

147

  

ITEM 13.

  

CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE

  

 

148

  

ITEM 14.

  

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

  

 

148

  

 

 

 

PART IV

  

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEM 15.

  

EXHIBITS AND FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULES

  

 

148

  

 

  

SIGNATURES

  

 

149

  

 

 

 

 


 

PART I

 

ITEM 1.

BUSINESS

Background

Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (formerly known as News Corporation), a Delaware corporation, is a diversified global media and entertainment company with operations in the following segments: (i) Cable Network Programming; (ii) Television; (iii) Filmed Entertainment; and (iv) Other, Corporate and Eliminations. The activities of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. are conducted principally in the United States, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, Asia and Latin America. For financial information regarding Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc.’s segments and operations in geographic areas, see “Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.” Unless otherwise indicated, references in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015 (the “Annual Report”) to “we,” “us,” “our,” “21st Century Fox,” “Twenty-First Century Fox” or the “Company” means Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. and its subsidiaries.

On November 12, 2014, the Company sold its 100% and 57% ownership stakes in Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland AG (“Sky Deutschland”), respectively, to British Sky Broadcasting Group plc (subsequently renamed Sky plc (“Sky”)) for approximately $8.8 billion in value comprised of approximately $8.2 billion in cash received, net of $650 million of cash paid to acquire Sky’s 21% interest in NGC Network International LLC (“NGCI”) and NGC Network Latin America LLC (“NGCLA” and together with NGCI, “NGC International”), increasing the Company’s ownership stake in NGC International to 73%. In connection with this transaction, the Company participated in Sky’s equity offering in July 2014 by purchasing additional shares in Sky for approximately $900 million and maintained the Company’s 39% ownership interest. As a result of the transaction, Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland ceased to be consolidated subsidiaries of the Company. Following the sale of the Direct Broadcast Satellite Television (“DBS”) businesses, the Company continues to report in five segments for comparative purposes, and there is no future activity in the DBS segment.

On June 28, 2013, the Company completed the separation of its business into two independent publicly traded companies (the “Separation”) by distributing to its stockholders shares of the new News Corporation (“News Corp”). The Company retained its interests in a global portfolio of cable, broadcast, film, pay-TV and satellite assets spanning six continents. News Corp holds the Company’s former businesses including newspapers, information services and integrated marketing services, digital real estate services, book publishing, digital education and sports programming and pay-TV distribution in Australia. The Company completed the Separation by distributing to its stockholders one share of News Corp Class A common stock for every four shares of the Company’s Class A common stock held on June 21, 2013, and one share of News Corp Class B common stock for every four shares of the Company’s Class B common stock held on June 21, 2013. The Company’s stockholders received cash in lieu of fractional shares. Following the Separation the Company does not beneficially own any shares of News Corp Class A common stock or News Corp Class B common stock. See “Item 1A. Risk Factors” for certain risk factors relating to the Separation.

In connection with the Separation, the Company and News Corp entered into a separation and distribution agreement (the “Separation and Distribution Agreement”) and certain other related agreements, pursuant to which the Company has agreed to indemnify News Corp and News Corp has agreed to indemnify the Company for certain liabilities. In addition, the Company and News Corp agreed in the Separation and Distribution Agreement that the Company will indemnify News Corp for payments made after the Separation arising out of civil claims and investigations relating to phone hacking, illegal data access and inappropriate payments to public officials at The News of the World and The Sun, publications of a News Corp subsidiary, and related matters, as well as legal and professional fees and expenses paid in connection with the related criminal matters, other than fees, expenses and costs relating to employees who are not (i) directors, officers or certain designated employees or (ii) with respect to civil matters, co-defendants with News Corp.

The Company’s fiscal year ends on June 30 of each year. Through its predecessor, the Company was incorporated in 1979 under the Company Act 1961 of South Australia, Australia. At June 30, 2015, the Company had approximately 20,500 full-time employees. The Company’s principal executive offices are located at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036 and its telephone number is (212) 852-7000. The Company’s

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website is www.21cf.com. The Company’s Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), are available, free of charge, through the Company’s website as soon as reasonably practicable after the material is electronically filed with or furnished to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Such reports may also be obtained without charge from the Company, and paper copies of any exhibits to such reports are also available for a reasonable fee per page charge to the requesting stockholder. Any materials that the Company filed with the SEC also may be read and copied at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. The public may obtain information on the operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. The SEC maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC (http://www.sec.gov).

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This document and the documents incorporated by reference into this Annual Report, including “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” contain statements that constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Exchange Act 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 and include statements regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of the Company, its directors or its officers with respect to, among other things, trends affecting the Company’s financial condition or results of operations and the outcome of contingencies such as litigation and investigations. Readers 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 “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in this Annual Report. The Company 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 the Company with the SEC. This section should be read together with the Consolidated Financial Statements of Twenty-First Century Fox and related notes set forth elsewhere in this Annual Report.

BUSINESS OVERVIEW

The Company is a diversified global media and entertainment company, which manages and reports its businesses in the segments described below.

Cable Network Programming

The Company produces and licenses news, business news, sports, general entertainment, factual entertainment and movie programming for distribution primarily through cable television systems, direct broadcast satellite operators, telecommunications companies and online video distributors in the United States and internationally.

FOX News and Fox Business Network. FOX News owns and operates the FOX News Channel, the top rated 24/7 all news national cable channel currently available in approximately 94 million U.S. households according to Nielsen Media Research, as well as the FOX Business Network which is currently available in nearly 84 million U.S. households.

FOX News also produces a weekend political commentary show, FOX News Sunday, for broadcast on local FOX television stations throughout the United States. FOX News, through its FOX News Edge service, licenses news feeds to FOX Affiliates and other subscribers to use as part of local news broadcasts throughout the United States and abroad. FOX News also produces and runs the websites, FOXNews.com and FOXBusiness.com, and owns and produces the national FOX News Radio Network, which licenses news updates and long form programs to local radio stations and to satellite radio providers.

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FSN. Fox Sports Net, Inc. (“FSN, Inc.”) is the largest regional sports network (“RSN”) programmer in the United States, focusing on live professional and major collegiate home team sports events. FSN, Inc.’s sports programming business currently consists primarily of ownership interests in 15 RSNs and numerous sub-regional feeds (the “FSN RSNs”) and National Sports Programming, which operates FSN (“FSN”), a national sports programming service. FSN is affiliated with an additional five RSNs that are not owned by FSN, Inc. (the “FSN Affiliated RSNs”). FSN provides the FSN RSNs and the FSN Affiliated RSNs with national sports programming, featuring original and licensed sports-related programming, as well as live and replay sporting events. In the aggregate, the FSN RSNs and the FSN Affiliated RSNs currently have approximately 89 million subscribers and have rights to telecast live games of 51 of 81 U.S. professional sports teams in Major League Baseball (“MLB”), the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League; collegiate conferences; and numerous college and high school sports teams.

Fox Sports 1. Fox Sports 1 is a multi-sport national cable network. During calendar year 2015, Fox Sports 1 will feature over 850 live events, including college football and basketball, UEFA Champions League and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (“FIFA”) World Cup events, National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (“NASCAR”), United States Golf Association (“USGA”) events and Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”), as well as regular season and post-season MLB games. In addition to live events, Fox Sports 1 features a nightly multi-hour live national sports news show, Fox Sports Live, an afternoon multi-sport news and highlight show, America’s Pregame Show, original and documentary programming and daily studio programming.

Fox Sports 2. Fox Sports 2 is a multi-sports national cable network featuring live events from the UFC and NASCAR, along with college basketball, rugby, Australian Football League, world-class soccer and motorsports programming. During calendar year 2015, Fox Sports 2 expects to feature over 500 live events.

Fox Sports Racing. In February 2014, SPEED became Fox Sports Racing. Fox Sports Racing is a 24-hour programming service consisting of motorsports programming, including NASCAR races, events and original programming (with exclusive coverage of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), The 24 Hours of Le Mans, AMA Supercross, Monster Jam and MotoGP. Fox Sports Racing is distributed to subscribers in Canada and the Caribbean. Fox Sports Racing is also distributed by Foxtel in Australia.

Fox College Sports. Fox College Sports consists of three regionally-aligned networks, FCS Pacific, FCS Central and FCS Atlantic. Fox College Sports provides live and delayed collegiate events from a variety of collegiate conferences, coaches’ shows and collegiate highlight and magazine-format programming from the FSN RSNs across the country.

Fox Soccer Plus. Fox Soccer Plus is a premium cable network showcasing over 400 exclusive live soccer and rugby competitions. Soccer events include matches from the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup. Rugby coverage includes matches from the Heineken Cup, Aviva Premiership and the National Rugby League.

Big Ten Network. The Company owns an approximate 51% interest in the Big Ten Network (“BTN”), a 24-hour national programming service dedicated to the collegiate Big Ten Conference and Big Ten athletics, academics and related programming, and Big Ten Network HD, a 24-hour national programming service produced and distributed in HD.

FX. Currently reaching close to 100 million U.S. households according to Nielsen Media Research, FX Networks, LLC (“FX”) is a general entertainment network that telecasts a large roster of original series, as well as acquired television series and motion pictures. FX’s lineup for the 2015-2016 season includes the critically acclaimed Fargo, American Horror Story, The Americans, The Strain and Tyrant, as well as the first seasons of American Crime Story, Taboo and The Bastard Executioner. Also included in the 2015-2016 season line-up are comedies Archer, Louie, and Married, and the premiere seasons of Baskets and Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. FX televises acquired series including Two and a Half Men, Anger Management and Mike and Molly, and showcases the television premieres of theatrical motion pictures, which in the 2015-2016 season will include Gravity, Iron Man 3, The Heat, Thor 2, The Wolf of Wall Street, Man of Steel, Despicable Me 2 and Fast & Furious 6, among others. The Company also produces and distributes FX HD, FXX HD and FXM HD, 24-hour national programming services produced and distributed in high definition (“HD”).

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FXX. FXX is a general entertainment channel aimed primarily at young adults. FXX’s line-up includes the comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Man Seeking Woman, The League and You’re the Worst. FXX also has the exclusive cable rights to air all 574 episodes of The Simpsons. In addition, FXX will showcase the television premieres of an extensive slate of theatrical motion pictures including World War Z, The Wolverine, Best Man’s Holiday, The Croods, Ride Along and Lone Survivor.

FXM. FXM splits its programming into two day parts. From 3AM to 3PM, the network airs films from the historic library of Twentieth Century Fox, uncut and commercial free. From 3PM to 3AM, the network utilizes FX’s roster of box office blockbuster modern day films. Also featured throughout both day parts are documentaries and original series that explore the moviemaking process from script to screen. During the 2015-2016 season, FXM will showcase the television premieres of several theatrical motion pictures, including American Hustle, among others.

National Geographic U.S. The National Geographic Channels air non-fiction, scripted and documentary programming on such topics as natural history, adventure, science, exploration and culture. The Company holds an approximate 70% interest in NGC Network US LLC, which produces and distributes the National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Channel HD, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Wild HD and Nat Geo Mundo in the United States, with NGT, LLC, a subsidiary of the National Geographic Society, holding the remaining interest. National Geographic Channel and National Geographic Channel HD currently reach more than 90 million households in the United States, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Wild HD reach more than 58 million households in the United States and Nat Geo Mundo reaches more than 3 million Hispanic households in the United States according to Nielsen Media Research.

Internet Distribution. The Company also distributes programming through its network-branded websites and applications and licenses programming for distribution through the websites and applications of cable television systems, direct broadcast satellite operators, telecommunications companies and online video distributors. The Company’s websites and applications provide live and/or on-demand streaming of network-related programming, and currently include FoxSportsgo.com and the application Fox Sports Go, BTN2Go.com and the application BTN2Go, and FXnetworks.com and the application FXNow, which offer all prior season episodes of The Simpsons in an immersive interactive area of the website and application called “Simpsons World.”

trueX media inc. In February 2015, the Company acquired trueX media inc., a video advertising company specializing in consumer engagement and on-demand marketing campaigns.

Fox International Channels (“FIC”). FIC operates, develops and distributes primarily factual, sports, lifestyle, movie and general entertainment channels in various countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, including the Fox Channel, Fox Life (which is also distributed in the United States), FX, Fox Crime, FOX Traveller, the Voyage Channel, Fox Sports, STAR World, STAR Movies (also known as Fox Movies Premium in certain countries) and Chinese language television programming targeted at Chinese-speaking audiences in Asia. These channels are distributed either in HD or in standard definition (“SD”) or in certain cases, in both HD and SD.

The Company acquired the 21% interest in NGC International held by Sky in connection with the sale of the DBS businesses to Sky. As a result, the Company owns an approximate 73% interest in NGC International, with NGT, LLC holding an approximate 27% interest. NGC International produces the National Geographic Channel, the National Geographic Channel HD, the Nat Geo Adventure channel (in both HD and SD), the Nat Geo Wild channel (in both HD and SD) and the Nat Geo Music channel for distribution in various international markets. The National Geographic Channel is currently shown in approximately 45 languages and in approximately 170 countries internationally, including the United States.

FIC distributes in Latin America basic television channels and, except in Brazil, 10 premium pay television channels including Fox 1, Fox 1 HD, Fox Action, Fox Action HD, Fox Family, Fox Family HD, Fox Movies, Fox Movies HD, Fox Classics and Fox Cinema (formerly under the “Moviecity” brand). Such premium channels primarily feature theatrical motion pictures of Twentieth Century Fox and three other studios dubbed in Spanish and/or in the English language with Spanish subtitles.

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FIC owns a 50.1% equity interest in Elite Sports Limited, a company that owns and distributes Baby TV, a 24-hour channel dedicated to infants and toddlers under three years old. The Baby TV channel is currently shown in more than 100 countries, including the United States.

FIC owns a controlling 51% ownership stake in Eredivisie Media & Marketing CV (“EMM”), a media company that holds the collective media and sponsorship rights of the Dutch Premier League. The remaining 49% of EMM is primarily owned by the Dutch Premier League and the global TV production company Endemol Shine Group in which the Company owns a 50% interest.

FIC operates Fox Pan American Sports LLC, doing business as Fox Sports Latin America (“FSLA”), an international sports programming and production entity. FSLA owns and operates the Fox Sports networks in Latin America, which are comprised of Spanish-language sports networks that are distributed to subscribers in Mexico and certain Caribbean and Central and South American countries, as well as Fox Sports Brazil, a Portuguese-language sports network specifically geared to the Brazilian audience. The Company also owns 100% of Fox Deportes, a Spanish-language sports programming service distributed in the United States. Fox Deportes has more than 2,100 hours of live and exclusive programming, including exclusive coverage of premiere soccer matches (such as UEFA Champions League, Major League Soccer (“MLS”) and Bundesliga), UFC events, National Football League (the “NFL”) post-season games and MLB, including All-Star, ALCS and World Series games. In addition to live events, Fox Deportes also features multi-sport news and highlight shows and daily studio programming, including Central FOX, La Ultima Palabra and FOX Deportes en Vivo. Fox Deportes reaches more than 21 million cable and satellite households in the United States, of which more than 6.1 million are Hispanic.

In June 2015, FIC agreed to sell its 50% interest in MundoFox Broadcasting LLC to RCN MF Holdings, Inc. (“RCN”) and certain of RCN’s affiliates. MundoFox Broadcasting LLC is a Latin American television network and production company which owns MundoFox, a Spanish-language broadcast television network targeted at the U.S. Hispanic market. As of July 2015, FIC ceased to own any interest in MundoFox Broadcasting LLC or MundoFox.   

The Company owns 100% of Fox Sports Asia (formerly ESPN STAR Sports), a leading sports broadcaster in Asia which operates approximately 20 channels in different languages.

STAR India. STAR India develops, produces and broadcasts 51 channels in seven languages, which are distributed primarily via satellite to local cable, internet protocol television (“IPTV”) and direct-to-home (“DTH”) operators for distribution throughout Asia, the United Kingdom, Continental Europe, North America and parts of Africa to their subscribers. STAR India’s channels include the flagship Hindi general entertainment channels STAR Plus and Life OK, the Hindi movie channels Star Gold and Movies OK, the English general entertainment channels Star World, Star World Premier HD, FX, the English movie channels Star Movies and Star Movies Action, the Bengali general entertainment channel STAR Jalsha, the Bengali movie channel Jalsha Movies, the Marathi general entertainment channel STAR Pravah, the South Indian languages general entertainment channels Asianet, Asianet Movies, Suvarna, Suvarna Plus and Vijay TV, and eight STAR Sports channels. STAR India’s primary sources of programming for its channels include original programming produced, commissioned or acquired by STAR India. STAR India also owns extensive film and television program libraries in the following languages: Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Telegu, Tamil, Bengali, Marathi and English.

STAR India has acquired media rights for BCCI Domestic and International Cricket Series matches in India through 2018, International Cricket Council matches through 2023, the England and Wales Cricket Board matches through 2017, Cricket Australia matches through 2017, Federation International De Hockey through 2022, Wimbledon through 2022 and Bundesliga through 2020. In addition, STAR India has acquired digital rights for Indian Premier League through 2017. In September 2014, STAR India acquired a 35% minority stake in Football Sports Development Limited, a joint venture with IMG-Reliance to launch the Indian Super League, a professional soccer league. In March 2015, STAR India, in association with its affiliate, acquired a 74% majority stake in Mashal Sports Private Limited in March 2015, for the operation of the Pro Kabaddi League.

In January 2015, STAR India, launched hotstar, its new mobile and online entertainment destination for television shows, movies and sports content, which achieved 20 million downloads in four months.

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In February 2015, STAR India entered into an agreement to acquire the broadcast business of MAA Television Network Limited, an entity in India that broadcasts and operates Telugu language entertainment channels. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close before December 31, 2015.

Middle East. The Company has an approximate 19% interest in Rotana Holding FZ-LLC (“Rotana”), a diversified media company in the Middle East and North Africa. The Company also has an approximate 39.2% interest in Moby Group Holdings Limited (“MGH”). MGH operates television, radio, production and other media businesses in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East and Central and South Asia.

Competition

General. Cable network programming is a highly competitive business. Cable networks compete for content and distribution and, when distribution is obtained, for viewers and advertisers with free-to-air broadcast television, radio, print media, motion picture theaters, DVDs, Blu-ray high definition format discs (“Blu-rays”), Internet, wireless and portable viewing devices and other sources of information and entertainment. Important competitive factors include the prices charged for programming, the quantity, quality and variety of programming offered and the effectiveness of marketing efforts.

FOX News. FOX News Channel’s primary competition comes from the cable networks CNN, HLN (CNN’s Headline News), and MSNBC. Fox Business Network’s primary competition comes from the cable networks CNBC and Bloomberg Television. FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network also compete for viewers and advertisers within a broad spectrum of television networks, including other non-news cable networks and free-to-air broadcast television networks.

Sports programming operations. A number of basic and pay television programming services, such as ESPN and NBC Sports Network, as well as free-to-air stations and broadcast networks, provide programming that also targets Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, BTN and the FSN RSNs’ respective audience. On a national level, the primary competitors to Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and FSN are ESPN, ESPN2, NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel and league-owned networks such as NFL Network, NHL Network, NBA TV and MLB Network. In regional markets, the FSN RSNs and BTN compete with other regional sports networks, including those operated by team owners, cable television systems, local broadcast television stations and other sports programming providers and distributors. Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and FSN also face competition online from Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Yahoo Sports, ESPN.com, NBCSports.com and CBSSports.com, among others.

In addition, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, BTN, the FSN RSNs and FSN compete, to varying degrees, for sports programming rights. The FSN RSNs compete for local and regional rights with local broadcast television stations, other local and regional sports networks, including sports networks launched by team owners, and distribution outlets, such as cable television systems. Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, BTN and FSN compete for national rights principally with a number of national cable and broadcast services that specialize in or carry sports programming, including sports networks launched by the leagues and conferences, and television “superstations” that distribute sports. Independent syndicators also compete by acquiring and reselling such rights nationally, regionally and locally. Distribution outlets, such as cable television systems, sometimes contract directly with the sports teams in their service area for the right to distribute a number of those teams’ games on their systems. In certain markets, the owners of distribution outlets, such as cable television systems, also own one or more of the professional teams in the region, increasing their ability to launch competing networks and also limiting the professional sports rights available for acquisition by FSN RSNs.

FX and FXX. FX and FXX face competition from a number of basic cable and pay television programming services, such as USA Network (“USA”), TNT, Spike TV, Home Box Office, Inc. (“HBO”) and Showtime Networks (“Showtime”), as well as free-to-air broadcast networks and Internet subscription and rental services such as Netflix and Amazon, that provide programming that targets the same viewing audience as FX and FXX. FX and FXX also face competition from these programming services in the acquisition of distribution rights to movie and series programming.

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National Geographic U.S. National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Wild face competition for viewers and advertising from a number of basic cable and broadcast television channels, such as Discovery Channel, History, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Science, H2, American Heroes Channel, FYI and Tru TV, as well as free-to-air broadcast networks and sports, news and general entertainment networks which have acquired or produced competing programming.

FIC. Internationally, the Company’s cable businesses compete with various local and foreign television services providers and distribution networks for audiences, advertising, content acquisition and distribution platforms.

STAR India. In India, the pay television broadcasting industry has several participants, and STAR India’s channels compete with both pay and free-to-air channels since they are delivered by common cable, direct-to-home and IPTV. STAR India also competes in India to acquire Hindi and other Indian languages film and programming rights, and internationally for English film and programming rights.

Television

The Company is engaged in the operation of broadcast television stations and the broadcasting of network programming in the United States.

Fox Television Stations

Fox Television Stations, LLC (“Fox Television Stations”) owns and operates 28 full power stations, including stations located in nine of the top ten largest designated market areas (“DMAs”). Fox Television Stations owns and operates duopolies in 11 DMAs, including the three largest DMAs, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

Of the 28 full power stations, 17 stations are affiliates of FOX (“FOX Affiliates”). For a description of the programming offered to FOX Affiliates, see “—FOX Broadcasting Company.” In addition, Fox Television Stations owns and operates 10 stations broadcasting programming from Master Distribution Service, Inc. (“MyNetworkTV”).

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The following table lists certain information about each of the television stations owned and operated by Fox Television Stations. Unless otherwise noted, all stations are FOX Affiliates.

Fox Television Stations

 

 

  

DMA/Rank

 

 

Station

 

 

Digital
Channel

 

Type

  

Percentage of U.S.
Television
Households
Reached (a)

New York, NY

 

 

1

 

 

 

WNYW

 

 

44

(5) 

 

 

UHF

 

6.5

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WWOR

(b)

 

38

(9) 

 

 

UHF

 

 

 

 

Los Angeles, CA

 

 

2

 

 

 

KTTV

 

 

11

(11) 

 

 

VHF

  

4.9

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KCOP

(b)

 

13

(13) 

 

 

VHF

 

 

 

 

Chicago, IL

 

 

3

 

 

 

WFLD

 

 

31

(32) 

 

 

UHF

 

3.1

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WPWR

(b) 

 

51

(50) 

 

 

UHF

  

 

 

 

Philadelphia, PA

  

 

4

 

 

 

WTXF

 

 

42

(29) 

 

 

UHF

 

2.6

%

 

Dallas, TX

 

 

5

 

 

 

KDFW

 

 

35

(4) 

 

 

UHF

 

2.3

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KDFI

(b)

 

36

(27) 

 

 

UHF

 

 

 

 

San Francisco, CA

 

 

6

 

 

 

KTVU

 

 

44

(2)

 

 

UHF

 

2.2

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KICU

(c) 

 

36

(36) 

 

 

UHF

 

 

 

 

Washington, DC

 

 

8

 

 

 

WTTG

 

 

36

(5) 

 

 

UHF

 

2.1

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WDCA

(b)

 

35

(20) 

 

 

UHF

 

 

 

 

Atlanta, GA

 

 

9

 

 

 

WAGA

 

 

27

(5) 

 

 

UHF

 

2.1

%

 

Houston, TX

 

 

10

 

 

 

KRIV

 

 

26

(26) 

 

 

UHF

 

2.0

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KTXH

(b)

 

19

(20) 

 

 

UHF

  

 

 

 

Phoenix, AZ

 

 

11

 

 

 

KSAZ

 

 

10

(10) 

 

 

VHF

 

1.6

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KUTP

(b)

 

26

(45) 

 

 

UHF

 

 

 

 

Detroit, MI

 

 

12

 

 

 

WJBK

 

 

7

(2) 

 

 

VHF

 

1.6

%

 

Tampa, FL

 

 

13

 

 

 

WTVT

 

 

12

(13) 

 

 

VHF

 

1.6

%

 

Minneapolis, MN(d)

 

 

15

 

 

 

KMSP

 

 

9

(9) 

 

 

VHF

 

1.5

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WFTC

(b)

 

29

(29) 

 

 

UHF

 

 

 

 

Orlando, FL

 

 

18

 

 

 

WOFL

 

 

22

(35) 

 

 

UHF

 

1.3

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WRBW

(b)

 

41

(65) 

 

 

UHF

 

 

 

 

Charlotte, NC

 

 

24

 

 

 

WJZY

 

 

47

(46) 

 

 

UHF

 

1.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WMYT

(b)

 

39

(55) 

 

 

UHF

 

 

 

 

Austin, TX

 

 

39

 

 

 

KTBC

 

 

7

(7) 

 

 

VHF

 

0.6

%

 

Gainesville, FL

 

 

162

 

 

 

WOGX

 

 

31

(51) 

 

 

UHF

 

0.1

%

 

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

37.1

%

 

 

 

Source: Nielsen Media Research, January 2015

(a) 

VHF television stations transmit on Channels 2 through 13 and UHF television stations on Channels 14 through 51. The Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC”) applies a discount (the “UHF Discount”) which attributes only 50% of the television households in a local television market to the audience reach of a UHF television station for purposes of calculating whether that station’s owner complies with the national station ownership cap imposed by FCC regulations and by statute; in making this calculation, only the station’s actual (digital) broadcast channel is considered. In addition, the coverage of two commonly owned stations in the same market is counted only once. The percentages listed are rounded and do not take into account the UHF Discount. For more information regarding the FCC’s national station ownership cap, see “Government Regulation—Television” in this Annual Report.

(b) 

MyNetworkTV licensee station.

(c) 

Independent station.

(d) 

The Company also owns and operates full power station KFTC, Channel 26, Bemidji, MN as a satellite station of WFTC, Channel 29, Minneapolis, MN. Station KFTC is in addition to the 28 full power stations described in this section.

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FOX Broadcasting Company (“FOX”)

FOX has 207 FOX Affiliates, including 17 stations owned and operated by the Company, which reach approximately 99% of all U.S. television households. In general, each week FOX regularly delivers to its affiliates 15 hours of prime-time programming and 60 minutes of late-night programming on Saturday. FOX’s prime-time entertainment programming features such series as New Girl, Empire, Last Man on Earth, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Simpsons; unscripted series such as American Idol, Hell’s Kitchen and So You Think You Can Dance; event series such as Wayward Pines; and various specials. In addition, a significant component of FOX’s programming consists of sports programming, with FOX providing to its affiliates live coverage (including post-season) of the National Football Conference of the NFL and MLB, as well as live coverage of the Sprint Cup Series of the NASCAR, USGA golf events (including the men’s U.S. Open), college football and basketball, UFC and international soccer, including, FIFA World Cup events. FOX also airs a two-hour block of direct response programming on Saturday mornings provided by Worldlink Ventures (“Worldlink”), a media sales firm. FOX’s agreement with Worldlink extends through the 2015-2016 broadcast season.

FOX’s prime-time line-up is intended to appeal primarily to target audiences of 18 to 49-year old adults, the demographic group that advertisers seek to reach most often, with an emphasis on the difficult to reach 18 to 34-year old adult demographic coveted by advertisers. During the 2014-2015 traditional September to May broadcast season, FOX ranked second among adults ages 18 to 34 (tied with ABC Television Network (“ABC”)) (based on Live+7 ratings). FOX ranked second in prime-time programming among teens ages 12 to 17 (tied with NBC broadcast network (“NBC”) and CBS Television Network (“CBS”)) (based on Live+7 ratings). FOX has ranked first among adults ages 18 to 34 for 12 out of the past 13 years (2002-2003 to 2014-2015) and FOX has ranked first among teens ages 12 to 17 for 14 of the past 15 years (2000-2001 to 2014-2015). FOX’s Empire was the broadcast season’s top-ranked broadcast entertainment program among adults ages 18 to 49. Empire was broadcast television’s highest-rated drama among adults 18 to 49 since the 2007-2008 season and highest-rated freshman series among adults 18 to 49 since 2004-2005. Inclusive of all telecasts, the median age of the FOX viewer is 48 years, as compared to 53 years for both ABC and NBC and 58 years for CBS. Excluding all sports and repeat programming, the median age of the FOX viewer is 47 years, as compared to 53 years for ABC, 54 years for NBC, and 59 years for CBS.

FOX obtains programming from major television studios and independent television production companies pursuant to license agreements. The terms of those agreements generally provide FOX with the right to broadcast a television series for a minimum of four seasons.

National sports programming is obtained through license agreements with professional or collegiate sports leagues or organizations. FOX’s current licenses with the NFL, MLB, college football and basketball conferences, NASCAR, FIFA, USGA and UFC are secured by long-term agreements.

FOX provides programming to the FOX Affiliates in accordance with affiliation agreements of varying durations, which grant to each affiliate the right to broadcast network television programming on the affiliated station. Such agreements typically run three or more years and have staggered expiration dates. These affiliation agreements require FOX Affiliates to carry FOX programming in all time periods in which FOX programming is offered to those affiliates, subject to certain exceptions stated in the affiliation agreements.

FOX also distributes programming through its network-branded website, FOX.com, and its FOXNOW application and licenses programming for distribution through the websites and applications of cable television systems, direct broadcast satellite operators, telecommunications companies and online video distributors.

MyNetworkTV

The programming distribution service, Master Distribution Service, Inc. (branded as MyNetworkTV), distributes two hours per night, Monday through Friday, of off-network programming from Twentieth Television and other third party syndicators to its licensee stations. As of June 30, 2015, MyNetworkTV had license and delivery agreements covering 187 stations, including 10 stations owned and operated by the Company, reaching approximately 97% of U.S. households.

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Competition. The network television broadcasting business is highly competitive. FOX and MyNetworkTV compete for audiences, programming and advertising revenue with other broadcast networks, such as ABC, NBC, CBS and The CW Television Network, independent television stations, cable and direct broadcast satellite program services, cable television networks, as well as other media, including DVDs, Blu-rays, digital video recorders (“DVR”), video games, and Internet-delivered subscription and rental services. In addition, FOX and MyNetworkTV compete with other broadcast networks and programming distribution services to secure affiliations or station agreements 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.

Each of the stations owned and operated by Fox Television Stations also competes for advertising revenues with other television stations and radio and cable systems in its respective market area, along with other advertising media, such as newspapers, magazines, outdoor advertising, direct mail and Internet websites. All of the stations owned and operated by Fox Television Stations are located in highly competitive markets. Additional elements that are material to the competitive position of each of the television stations include management experience, authorized power and assigned frequency of that station. Competition for sales of broadcast advertising time is based primarily on the anticipated and actually delivered size and demographic characteristics of audiences as determined by various rating services, price, the time of day when the advertising is to be broadcast, competition from the other broadcast networks, cable television systems, DBS services and digital media and general economic conditions. Competition for audiences is based primarily on the selection of programming, the acceptance of which is dependent on the reaction of the viewing public, which is often difficult to predict.

Filmed Entertainment

The Company is engaged in 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.

Motion Picture Production and Distribution

One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film (“TCFF”) produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world under a variety of arrangements. During fiscal 2015, TCFF placed 25 motion pictures in general release in the United States. The motion pictures of TCFF are produced and/or distributed by the following units of TCFF: Twentieth Century Fox and Fox 2000, which produce and acquire motion pictures for mainstream audiences; Fox Searchlight Pictures, which produces and acquires specialized motion pictures; and Twentieth Century Fox Animation, which produces feature length animated motion pictures. In addition, Fox International Productions, Inc. co-produces, co-finances and acquires local-language motion pictures intended for distribution outside the United States. The motion pictures produced and/or distributed by TCFF in the United States and international territories in fiscal 2015 included Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Maze Runner, Gone Girl (together with New Regency), Kingsman: The Secret Service, Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (together with New Regency), Wild and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. TCFF has already released or currently plans to release approximately 25 motion pictures in the United States in fiscal 2016, including Fantastic Four, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, The Martian, The Peanuts Movie, Joy, Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, Independence Day Resurgence, and He Named Me Malala. Pursuant to an agreement with Monarchy Enterprises Holdings B.V. (“MEH”), the parent company of New Regency in which the Company has a 20% interest, and certain of MEH’s subsidiaries, TCFF distributes certain New Regency films and all films co-financed by TCFF and New Regency in all media worldwide, excluding a number of international territories with respect to television rights. Among its fiscal 2016 releases, TCFF currently expects to distribute one New Regency film and one co-financed film.

The Company has an arrangement with DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (“DWA”) to distribute new release animated motion pictures produced by DWA, as well as certain other library motion pictures and programming controlled by DWA, domestically and internationally in all media including theatrical, all home media formats and certain forms of television. Among TCFF’s fiscal 2016 releases, TCFF currently expects to distribute one DWA film.

12


 

Motion picture companies, such as TCFF, typically seek to generate revenues from various distribution channels. TCFF derives its worldwide revenues from motion pictures and other program distribution primarily from four basic sources (set forth in general chronology of exploitation): (i) distribution of motion pictures for theatrical exhibition in the United States and Canada and markets outside of the United States and Canada (“international” markets); (ii) distribution of motion pictures and other programming in various home media formats, including digital distribution; (iii) distribution of motion pictures and other programming for exhibition on premium pay and subscription video-on-demand (“SVOD”); and (iv) distribution of motion pictures and other programming for exhibition on free television networks, other broadcast program services, independent television stations and basic cable programming services, including certain services which are affiliates of the Company. The Company does not always have rights in all media of exhibition to all motion pictures that it releases, and does not necessarily distribute a given motion picture in all of the foregoing media in all markets. The Company believes that the pre-release marketing of a feature film is an integral part of its motion picture distribution strategy and generally begins marketing efforts three to six months in advance of a film’s release date in any given territory. The Company markets and distributes its films worldwide principally through its own distribution and marketing companies.

Through Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC and TCFF, the Company distributes motion pictures and other programming produced by units of TCFF, its affiliates and other producers in the United States, Canada and international markets in all home media formats, including the sale and rental of DVDs and Blu-rays. In fiscal 2015, the domestic home entertainment division released or re-released approximately 1,268 produced and acquired titles, including 25 new TCFF film releases, approximately 821 catalog titles and approximately 422 television and non-theatrical titles. In international markets, the Company distributed, produced and acquired titles both directly and through foreign distribution channels, with approximately 1,048 releases in fiscal 2015, including approximately 34 new TCFF film releases, approximately 704 catalog titles and approximately 310 television and non-theatrical releases. The Company enters into domestic and international license arrangements with third parties for distribution by electronic sell-through (“EST”), video-on-demand (“VOD”) and/or pay-per-view (“PPV”). Distribution on an EST basis enables consumers to acquire the right to retain programs on a permanent basis. The EST, VOD and PPV arrangements generally provide for license fees based on a percentage of the licensee’s gross receipts received from consumers and in some cases a guaranteed minimum fee per consumer transaction. In addition, these arrangements generally provide for a minimum number of scheduled PPV exhibitions per program and for continuous VOD availability of each program to consumers during a fixed period. In fiscal 2015, the Company continued its arrangement to distribute new release animated motion pictures produced by DWA as well as certain other catalog motion pictures and programming controlled by DWA. In fiscal 2015, the Company continued its worldwide home video distribution arrangement with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (“MGM”), releasing approximately 523 MGM home entertainment theatrical, catalog and television programs domestically and 523 internationally. The Company also continued its domestic home video distribution arrangements with Lions Gate Films Inc. (“Lions Gate”) (U.S. only) and Anchor Bay Entertainment, LLC (“Anchor Bay”) (U.S. and Canada), releasing approximately 1,677 Lions Gate home entertainment theatrical, catalog and television programs and approximately 621 Anchor Bay home entertainment theatrical, catalog and television programs. During fiscal 2015, the domestic home entertainment division released 512 Blu-ray titles, including 25 new TCFF film releases, 409 catalog titles and 78 television and non-theatrical releases. In international markets, the Company released 405 Blu-ray titles, including 25 new TCFF film releases, 322 catalog titles and 58 television and non-theatrical releases. The Company also distributed 200 Blu-ray titles from MGM domestically and 124 titles internationally, 394 Blu-ray titles from Lions Gate domestically, and 173 Blu-ray titles from Anchor Bay domestically.

Units of TCFF license motion pictures and other programming in the United States and international markets to various third party and certain affiliated subscription pay television and SVOD services as well as to free television networks and basic cable programming services for distribution by means of various media, which may include DBS, cable television systems and the Internet. The license agreements reflecting the subscription pay television arrangements generally provide for a specified number of exhibitions of the program during a fixed term in exchange for a license fee that is based on a variety of factors, including the box office performance of each program and the number of subscribers to the service or system. Among third party license arrangements that units of TCFF have in place in the United States for subscription pay television exhibition of motion pictures is an exclusive license agreement with HBO, providing for the licensing of films initially released for theatrical exhibition. Units of TCFF also license programming to SVOD services in the United States. Such licenses enable the consumer to view individual programming selected by the viewer for a subscription fee, typically on a monthly basis. In international markets, units of TCFF license motion pictures and other programming to subscription pay

13


 

television and SVOD services operated by leading third parties, as well as to such services operated by various affiliated entities. In addition, units of TCFF license motion pictures and other programming in international markets for exhibition on free television networks, including basic cable programming services, both to independent third party broadcasters as well as to services operated by affiliated entities of the Company.

Competition. Motion picture production and distribution are highly competitive businesses. The Company competes with other film studios, independent production companies and others for the acquisition of artistic properties, the services of creative and technical personnel, exhibition outlets and the public’s interest in its products. The number of motion pictures released by the Company’s competitors, particularly the other major film studios, in any given period may create an oversupply of product in the market, which may reduce the Company’s shares of gross box office admissions and may make it more difficult for the Company’s motion pictures to succeed. The commercial success of the motion pictures produced and/or distributed by the Company is affected substantially by the public’s unpredictable response to them. The competitive risks affecting the Company’s home entertainment business include the number of home entertainment titles released by the Company’s competitors that may create an oversupply of product in the market, competition among home media formats, such as DVDs and Blu-rays, and other methods of distribution, such as EST and VOD services.

The Company faces ongoing risks associated with controlling unauthorized copying and distribution of the Company’s programs. For a further discussion of issues relating to unauthorized copying and distribution of the Company’s programs, see “—Intellectual Property.”

Television Programming, Production and Domestic Syndication Distribution

Twentieth Century Fox Television (“TCFTV”). During fiscal 2015, TCFTV produced television programs for FOX, FX, ABC, CBS, NBC and Turner Broadcasting System (“TBS”). TCFTV currently produces, or has orders to produce, episodes of the following television series: Bob’s Burgers, Bones, Bordertown, Empire, Family Guy, The Frankenstein Code, Grandfathered, The Grinder, The Guide to Surviving Life, The Last Man on Earth, Minority Report, New Girl, Rosewood, Scream Queens, The Simpsons, Sleepy Hollow and The X-Files Series Event for FOX; American Horror Story for FX; Fresh Off the Boat, Last Man Standing and Modern Family for ABC; Life in Pieces for CBS; The Carmichael Show for NBC; and American Dad for TBS. Generally, a television network or cable network will license a specified number of episodes for exhibition during the license period. All other distribution rights, including international and off-network syndication rights, are typically retained by TCFTV, utilized by other units of the Company or sold to third parties.

Fox21 Television Studios (“Fox21”). Fox21 produces television programs for major U.S. cable networks including American Crime Story, The Americans, Bastard Executioner, The Comedians, Tyrant and Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll for FX; Dice and Homeland for Showtime; Graceland, Complications, Queen of the South for USA; Salem for WGN America; Legends for TNT; Damien for A&E; and Maron for IFC.

Television programs generally are produced under contracts that provide for license fees that may cover only a portion of the anticipated production costs. As these costs have increased in recent years, the resulting deficit between production costs and license fees for domestic first-run programming also has increased. Therefore, additional licensing is often critical to the financial success of a series. Successful U.S. network television series are typically (i) licensed for first-run exhibition in international markets, (ii) released in DVD and Blu-ray box sets, (iii) made available for EST, including individual episodes and full series, (iv) licensed for VOD, PPV and SVOD services, including individual episodes and full series, (v) licensed for off-network exhibition in the United States (including in syndication and to cable programmers) and (vi) licensed for further television exhibition in international markets. Typically, a series must be broadcast for at least three to four television seasons for there to be a sufficient number of episodes to offer the series in syndication or to cable and DBS programmers in the United States. The decision of a television network to continue a series through an entire television season or to renew a series for another television season depends largely on the series’ audience ratings.

14


 

Twentieth Television. Twentieth Television licenses both television programming and feature films for domestic syndication to television stations and basic cable services in the United States. Twentieth Television distributes a program portfolio that includes the Company’s library of television and film assets, and first-run programming for sales to local stations, including stations owned and operated by the Company, as well as to basic cable networks. First-run programs distributed by Twentieth Television include the court show Divorce Court and the entertainment magazine program Dish Nation.

Twentieth Television derives revenue from off-network, theatrical and first-run program sales in the form of cash license fees paid by both broadcast and cable licensees, and from the sales of national advertising units retained by Twentieth Television in its programs. Twentieth Television licenses such shows as Modern Family, New Girl, Last Man Standing, Archer, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Burn Notice, Family Guy, Bones, How I Met Your Mother, The Cleveland Show, Bob’s Burgers, Glee and The Simpsons to cable and broadcast networks. Twentieth Television also sells national advertising on behalf of other third party syndicators.

Competition. Similar to motion picture production and distribution, production and distribution of television programming is extremely competitive. The Company competes with other film studios, independent production companies, Internet subscription and rental service providers, and others for the acquisition of artistic properties, the services of creative and technical personnel, exhibition outlets and the public’s interest in its products. In addition, television networks have affiliated production companies from which they are increasingly obtaining their programming, which has reduced the demand for programming from other non-affiliated parties.

Motion Picture and Television Library

The Company’s motion picture and television library (the “Fox Library”) consists of varying ownership and distribution rights to several thousand previously released motion pictures and many well-known television programs. Motion pictures in the Fox Library include many successful and well-known titles, such as The Sound of Music, Mrs. Doubtfire, Home Alone, the Star Wars series, the Die Hard series, the X-Men series, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, the Ice Age series, The Planet of the Apes series, Sideways, Walk the Line, The Devil Wears Prada, Little Miss Sunshine, the Night at the Museum series, the Alvin and the Chipmunks series, Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi and the Taken series. In addition, the Company has distributed four of the top 10 domestic box office grossing films of all time, which are Avatar, Titanic (together with Paramount Pictures Corporation), Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

The Fox Library contains varying ownership and distribution rights to many television series and made-for-television motion pictures. The television programming in the Fox Library consists of such classic series as 24, How I Met Your Mother, King of the Hill, Prison Break, Boston Legal, My Name is Earl, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, M*A*S*H, Hill Street Blues, Doogie Howser, M.D., L.A. Law, The Wonder Years, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Angel, Dharma & Greg, In Living Color, The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Cleveland Show, Arrested Development, Futurama, Glee, Sons of Anarchy, The Shield, Burn Notice, Malcolm in the Middle, Raising Hope, White Collar and NYPD Blue, as well as prior seasons of such current series as The Simpsons, Bones, Family Guy, Modern Family, Homeland, New Girl, Last Man Standing, Bob’s Burgers, American Dad.

Other, Corporate and Eliminations

The Other, Corporate and Eliminations segment consists primarily of corporate overhead and eliminations and other businesses.

Equity Interests

Sky

The Company holds an approximate 39% interest in Sky. Sky’s ordinary shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol “SKY”. Sky is the U.K.’s leading entertainment and communications provider, operating the most comprehensive multichannel, multi-platform pay television service in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. Sky retails subscription television and communications services to residential and commercial premises in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. In addition to the retail and broadcast

15


 

operations, Sky operates a number of other businesses including wholesaling its channel portfolio, selling advertising on its own and partner channels and its international distribution operation. In November 2014, the Company sold its 100% and 57% ownership stakes in Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, respectively, to Sky for approximately $8.8 billion in value comprised of approximately $8.2 billion in cash received, net of $650 million of cash paid to acquire Sky’s 21% interest in NGC International, increasing the Company’s ownership stake in NGC International to 73%. In connection with this transaction, the Company participated in Sky’s equity offering in July 2014 by purchasing additional shares in Sky for approximately $900 million and maintained the Company’s 39% ownership interest.

Hulu

The Company has an approximate 33% equity interest in Hulu, LLC (“Hulu”) which operates an online video service that offers video content from Fox, the other one-third partners in Hulu, NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company, as well as over 400 other third party content licensors. Hulu’s premium programming is available on a monthly subscription basis at Hulu.com and through software applications on Internet-connected devices, including smart phones, tablets, gaming consoles and set-top boxes. Some of Hulu’s programming is also available free of charge to viewers at Hulu.com and over 65 destination sites online, including AOL, IMDb, MSN, Myspace and Yahoo!.  

Endemol Shine Group

The Company and funds managed by Apollo Global Management, LLC (“Apollo”) formed Endemol Shine Group in December 2014, to which the Company contributed its interests in Shine Group and cash, comprising an aggregate carrying value of approximately $830 million. The joint venture, a global multi-platform content provider, is comprised of Shine Group, Endemol, and CORE Media Group, with the Company and Apollo each owning 50%. Endemol Shine Group has creative operations in over 30 markets, with a diverse portfolio of over 600 formats, both scripted and non-scripted, coupled with digital, gaming, and distribution operations.

Tata Sky

The Company holds an approximate 30% interest in Tata Sky Limited which owns and operates a DTH platform in India.

Other Investments

The Company has a minority equity interest in Vice Holding Inc., a digital media company.

In July 2015, the Company acquired a minority equity interest in DraftKings, Inc., a leading operator of online fantasy games and contests.

Government Regulation

General

Various aspects of the Company’s activities are subject to regulation in numerous jurisdictions around the world. The Company believes that it is in material compliance with the requirements imposed by those laws and regulations described herein. The introduction of new laws and regulations in countries where the Company’s products and services are produced or distributed (and changes in the enforcement of existing laws and regulations in those countries) could have a negative impact on the interests of the Company.

Cable Network Programming

Asia. The Company broadcasts television programming over a “footprint” covering approximately 50 Asian countries. Most countries in which the Company operates have a regulatory framework for the satellite and cable television industry. Government regulation of direct reception and redistribution via cable or other means of satellite television signals, where it is addressed at all, is treated differently in each country. At one extreme are absolute

16


 

bans on private ownership of satellite receiving equipment. Some countries, however, have adopted a less restrictive approach, opting to allow ownership of satellite receiving equipment by certain institutions and individuals but allowing them to receive only authorized broadcasts. At the opposite end of the spectrum are countries where private satellite dish ownership is allowed and laws and regulations have been adopted which support popular access to satellite services through local cable redistribution.

Most television services within Asia, whether free-to-air or pay television, are also subject to licensing requirements. In addition, most countries in which the Company operates control the content offered by local broadcast operators through censorship requirements to which program suppliers, such as the Company, are subject. Certain countries also require a minimum percentage of local content. Other countries require local broadcast operators to obtain government approval to retransmit foreign programming.

Additional categories of regulation of actual or potential significance to the Company are restrictions on foreign investment in distribution platforms, television programming production, limitations on exclusive arrangements for channel distribution and non-discrimination requirements for supply or carriage of programming and anti-competition or anti-trust legislation. Such restrictions are different in each country.

India. In India, private satellite dish ownership, including DTH, is allowed. Television viewers receive broadcast television signals primarily through terrestrial and cable delivery and, in more recent years, through DTH and IPTV delivery. Terrestrial broadcasting remains the domain of government-owned broadcast stations.

All cable television operators are required to carry certain government-operated channels. Retransmissions of foreign satellite channels, such as STAR India’s channels, are permitted, subject to licensing requirements and compliance with local applicable laws, including programming and advertisement codes. The Indian government requires that all film and media content, whether produced in India or abroad, be certified by the Central Board of Film Certification prior to exhibition in India and also places certain restrictions on advertising content. The Indian Broadcasting Foundation has issued Self Regulatory Guidelines that apply to the programming on non-news and current affairs channels.

Certain wholesale and retail channel tariffs are under review after intervention by the Indian courts. While there is no tariff regulation for DTH at the retail level, broadcasters are required under an interim order by the court to offer their channels to DTH platforms at 42% of the rates charged to analog cable. Broadcasters are also required to provide their channels on non-discriminatory terms to all distributors if no carriage charges are being sought from broadcasters. In 2011, the Cable Television Act was amended and new rules were issued mandating that cable networks switch from analog to digital systems. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (“TRAI”) issued rules that mandated, among other things, basic service tiers comprised of free-to-air channels be compulsorily offered to consumers. This new regime, which will bring digital cable pricing in line with DTH, is expected to be fully implemented by the end of calendar year 2016. The TRAI allowed a 27.5% inflation based increase in channel rates that was to be implemented by January 1, 2015. However, the Indian court struck down this increase. The Company along with other broadcasters have filed an appeal which is pending hearing.

The TRAI enacted regulations in March 2013, which limit the amount of advertising time allowed on television channels. These regulations replaced the regulations enacted by the TRAI in May 2012 which had been challenged in the Indian courts. The March 2013 regulations have also been challenged and such challenges are currently pending in the Indian courts.

The Indian government has mandated sports content rights owners to simultaneously share a feed free of advertisements of the live broadcasting signal of sporting events of national importance with the Indian government owned broadcaster to enable it to re-transmit the signal on its terrestrial networks and DTH networks. For such shared events, the regulations also provide for sharing of advertising revenue, 75% to the content rights owners and 25% to the government owned broadcaster.

The Copyright laws in India were amended in June 2012 to provide, inter alia, for rights to receive royalties for authors of underlying work and to permit broadcasters to access content under a statutory license at royalty rates to be determined by the Copyright Board.

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Latin America. The Company broadcasts television programming throughout approximately 18 Latin American countries, as well as the Caribbean. Certain countries in which the Company operates have a regulatory framework for the satellite and cable television industry. These regulations vary in each country as does their impact on the Company’s business. In Argentina, the government imposes restrictions on the ability to effectuate price increases on rates charged to pay TV operators and has also implemented certain measures in currency exchange controls which have caused significant impediments and limitations to any person or entity moving money out of the country resulting in exposure to currency devaluation. Pay TV operators are required to carry certain government operated channels. Argentina regulations reduced the available advertising inventory on the channels by half to six minutes per hour, which must be accumulated within a four-hour consecutive programming block. In Brazil, regulations require, among other things: (i) that all channels distributed in the region contain at least three hours and thirty minutes per week of Brazilian content during prime time hours (the “Quota Requirement”), half of which must be produced by a Brazilian independent producer; (ii) registration of all channels, programmers, local content and advertisements; (iii) website disclosure of programming and advertising content to ensure compliance with tax and other regulations; and (iv) mediation of local agency requirements and taxation on all advertising that is contracted abroad. While such tax shall primarily be paid by advertisers, programmers are ultimately responsible for the tax payment, and failure by advertisers to pay the required tax could subject programmers to fines or penalties. In order to encourage the local industry and the production of Brazilian content, new restrictions continue to be established defining the type of content that may be considered Brazilian content for purposes of the Quota Requirement. Compliance with these regulations increases the cost of doing business by imposing additional production/acquisition costs as well as third party administrative and legal expenses.

Europe. The sectors in which the Company operates in Europe are subject to both general competition laws and sector specific regulation. The regulatory regime applicable to the electronic communications and broadcasting sectors is, to a large extent, based on European Union (“EU”) law comprised in various EU directives that require EU member states to adopt national legislation to give effect to the directives’ objectives, while leaving the precise manner and form of the national legislation to the discretion of each member state. The Electronic Communications Directives regulate the provision of communication services, including networks and transmission services that are involved in the broadcasting of television services as well as the provisions of services and facilities associated with the operation of digital television platforms. The AudioVisual Media Services Directive sets out the basic principles for the regulation of television broadcasting activity, including broadcasting licensing, advertising and content regulation and imposes production and investment quotas, obligations to transmit European content for at least 50% of the day and limitations on advertising time. The Satellite and Cable Directive provides the European legal framework for the right of communication to the public by satellite and for the retransmission of broadcast signals from one member state by cable operators in another member state. Each European country also has the right to adopt more strict rules.

In January 2014, the European Commission (“EC”) initiated formal antitrust proceedings to examine certain provisions in licensing agreements between several U.S. film studios, including Twentieth Century Fox, and a number of European pay-TV broadcasters, including Sky Italia, Sky Deutschland and Sky UK. The EC is investigating provisions which prevent broadcasters from providing their services across borders, for example by refusing potential subscribers from other EU countries or blocking cross-border online access to their services. In July 2015, the EC sent a Statement of Objections to Twentieth Century Fox, several other U.S. film studios and Sky UK taking the preliminary view that such contractual provisions may breach EU competition rules prohibiting anti-competitive agreements. The Statement of Objections sets out the preliminary position of the EU but it is not a finding of infringement and does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation. The EC continues to investigate the license agreements between the film studios and other European broadcasters. It is not possible to predict the timing or outcome of the EC’s proceedings, including whether fines, if any, may be imposed, or the impact on the Company’s business.

In May 2015, the EC published its Digital Single Market Strategy setting out a number of initiatives, including objectives to present legislative proposals to end geo-blocking in certain circumstances, review the EU copyright legislation to allow for broader access to online content across EU countries, and review the Satellite and Cable Directive and the AudioVisual Media Services Directive. It is not possible to predict the timing or outcome of these initiatives or the impact on the Company’s business.

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Television

In general, the television broadcast industry in the United States is highly regulated by federal laws and regulations issued and administered by various federal agencies, including the FCC. The FCC regulates television broadcasting, and certain aspects of the operations of cable, satellite and other electronic media that compete with broadcasting, pursuant to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Communications Act”).

The Communications Act permits the operation of television broadcast stations only in accordance with a license issued by the FCC upon a finding that the grant of the license would serve the public interest, convenience and necessity. The FCC grants television broadcast station licenses for specific periods of time and, upon application, may renew the licenses for additional terms. Under the Communications Act, television broadcast licenses may be granted for a maximum permitted term of eight years. Generally, the FCC renews broadcast licenses upon finding that: (i) the television station has served the public interest, convenience and necessity; (ii) there have been no serious violations by the licensee of the Communications Act or FCC rules and regulations; and (iii) there have been no other violations by the licensee of the Communications Act or FCC rules and regulations which, taken together, indicate a pattern of abuse. After considering these factors, the FCC may grant the license renewal application with or without conditions, including renewal for a lesser term than the maximum otherwise permitted, or hold an evidentiary hearing. Fox Television Stations has pending renewal applications for a number of its television station licenses. Three of the pending applications have been opposed by third parties. On June 13, 2007 and May 15, 2008, Fox Television Stations entered into agreements with the FCC that preclude it from objecting, on the grounds that such action is barred by certain statutes of limitations, to FCC or other governmental action relating to (i) petitions to deny or complaints that have been filed against several owned and operated stations relating to programming that is alleged to violate the prohibition against indecent broadcasts or (ii) inquiries from the FCC regarding compliance with its sponsorship identification rules. For information on the television stations owned and operated by the Company, see “—Fox Television Stations” above.

In March 2010, the FCC delivered its national Broadband Plan to Congress, which reviews the nation’s broadband Internet infrastructure and recommends a number of initiatives to spur broadband deployment and use. In order to free up more spectrum for wireless broadband services, the Broadband Plan proposes to make spectrum available, including 120 megahertz of broadcast spectrum, by incentivizing current private-sector spectrum holders to return some of their spectrum to the government through such initiatives as voluntary “incentive” spectrum auctions (with current licensees permitted to share in the auction proceeds) and “repacking” of channel assignments to increase efficient spectrum usage. If voluntary measures fail to yield the amount of spectrum the FCC deems necessary for wireless broadband deployment, the Broadband Plan proposes various mandates to reclaim spectrum, such as forced channel sharing. In response to the Broadband Plan, Congress passed legislation in February 2012 authorizing the FCC to conduct voluntary auctions of television broadcast station spectrum. Stations that continue their operations may have to change channels once the FCC “repacks” broadcast spectrum. The legislation requires the FCC to assist stations in retaining their current coverage areas, provides that no stations will be forced into the VHF band and establishes a fund to reimburse broadcasters for reasonable channel relocation expenses. The FCC is taking steps to implement the legislation and has said that it expects to conduct the voluntary auction in the first quarter of calendar 2016. The FCC also has announced a plan to “repack” the television broadcast stations that do not participate in the auction over the subsequent 39 months; the FCC indicated that it will use reasonable efforts to try to preserve stations’ current coverage areas. The broadcast industry is exploring additional uses for currently allocated spectrum. It is expected that FCC auctions and repacking will involve multiple rulemaking proceedings and may take several years to complete. It is not possible to predict the timing or outcome of implementation of the Broadband Plan, FCC spectrum auctions and repacking, or their effect on the Company.

On December 22, 2011, the FCC commenced the next quadrennial review of its broadcast ownership regulations required by the 1996 Telecom Act, proposing only minor modifications to its rules. That review was never completed. In early 2014, the FCC announced its intention to combine the 2011 review with the quadrennial review scheduled for 2014. In the 2014 review, which is pending, the FCC again proposed minor modifications that are not likely to affect the impact of the FCC ownership rules on the Company’s ownership of media properties.

Fox Television Stations is in compliance with the rules governing ownership of multiple stations in the same market and with the national station ownership cap established by Congress. In September 2013, the FCC commenced a proceeding to consider elimination of the so-called “UHF discount” under which UHF stations are

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attributed with only 50% of the television households in their markets for purposes of calculating compliance with the national station ownership cap. If the FCC decides to eliminate the UHF discount it may affect the Company’s ability to acquire television stations in additional markets. It is not possible to predict the timing or outcome of the pending proceeding.

Fox Television Stations owns two television stations in the New York DMA. By virtue of its common ownership with News Corp due to the Murdoch Family Trust’s ownership interest in both News Corp and the Company, Fox Television Stations also retains an attributable interest in The New York Post, a daily newspaper in the New York DMA. On October 6, 2006, the FCC reaffirmed the Company’s permanent waiver of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule, which allows the common ownership of the Post and WNYW(TV). On August 8, 2014, the FCC’s Media Bureau granted a new temporary waiver of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule to permit the common ownership of the Post and WWOR-TV; the waiver shall remain in effect until 90 days after the effective date of an FCC order in the 2014 quadrennial review of the media ownership regulations that either adopts a new rule or upholds the existing rule (the “August 2014 Order”).  At that time, Fox Television Stations shall either (1) comply with the rule then in effect or (2) file a new request for a waiver of such rule. Parties opposed to the August 2014 Order filed an application for review by the full FCC, which is pending. It is not possible to predict the timing or outcome of the FCC’s action on this request for review or its effect on the Company.

In addition, as a result of these rules, the Company’s future conduct, including the acquisition of any broadcast networks, or stations or any newspapers, in the same local markets in which News Corp owns or operates newspapers or has acquired television stations, may affect News Corp’s ability to own and operate its newspapers or any television stations it acquires or otherwise comply with the rules. Therefore, the Company and News Corp agreed in the Separation and Distribution Agreement that if the Company acquires, after the Separation, newspapers, radio or television broadcast stations or television broadcast networks in the U.S. and such acquisition would impede or be reasonably likely to impede News Corp’s business, then the Company will be required to take certain actions, including divesting assets, in order to permit News Corp to hold its media interests and to comply with such rules.

Under the Communications Act, no broadcast station licensees may be owned by a corporation if more than 25% of the corporation’s stock is owned or voted by non-U.S. persons, their representatives, or by any other corporation organized under the laws of a foreign country. The Company owns broadcast station licensees in connection with its ownership and operation of U.S. television stations. The Company has suspended 10% of the voting rights of the Class B Common Stock held by non-U.S. stockholders in order to maintain compliance with U.S. law. This suspension will remain in place for as long as the Company deems it necessary to maintain compliance with the Act. The FCC could review the Company’s compliance with the Act in connection with its consideration of Fox Television Stations’ license renewal applications.

FCC regulations implementing the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 require each television broadcaster to elect, at three-year intervals, either to (i) require carriage of its signal by cable systems in the station’s market (“must carry”) or (ii) negotiate the terms on which that broadcast station would permit transmission of its signal by the cable systems within its market (“retransmission consent”). Generally, the Company has elected retransmission consent for the stations owned and operated by Fox Television Stations. The Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999 requires satellite carriers to carry upon request all television stations located in markets in which the satellite carrier retransmits at least one local station pursuant to the copyright license provided in the statute (“Carry One, Carry All”). FCC regulations implementing this statutory provision require affected stations to elect either mandatory carriage at the same three year intervals applicable to cable “must carry” or negotiate carriage terms with the satellite operators. Several cable and satellite operators filed a petition for rulemaking with the FCC seeking changes in the retransmission consent regulations, including the imposition of mandatory arbitration and required interim carriage in the event the broadcaster and distributor fail to reach a carriage agreement. In March 2011, the FCC responded by initiating a rulemaking to explore changes to its retransmission consent regulations. The FCC tentatively concluded that it does not have the power to order mandatory arbitration or interim carriage and instead sought comment on modifications to its rules affecting retransmission consent negotiations, including providing more guidance under the FCC’s “good faith negotiation” standard, improving notice to consumers in advance of possible disruptions of TV station carriage and eliminating program exclusivity rules that restrict cable and satellite operators’ ability to negotiate for alternative access to network programming. Among other things, the FCC sought comment on whether it should be a per se violation of

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“good faith negotiation” requirements for a station to agree to give its network the right to approve retransmission consent agreements or to comply with such an approval requirement in the network affiliation agreement. In March 2014, the FCC adopted limited changes to its retransmission consent rules to prohibit a television broadcast station ranked among the top four stations (as measured by audience share) from negotiating retransmission consent jointly with another top four station in the same geographic market if the stations are not commonly owned. The FCC also called for further comment on whether to eliminate the program exclusivity rules. Pursuant to the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization, which Congress passed in December 2014, the FCC also is required to initiate a new rulemaking proceeding by September 2015 to review the “totality of the circumstances” component of its retransmission consent good faith bargaining rules. The broadcast industry, including Fox Entertainment Group and Fox Television Stations, has filed comments opposing broader changes to the current retransmission consent regime. It is not possible to predict the timing or outcome of the rulemakings or their effect on the Company.

Legislation enacted in 1990 limits the amount of commercial matter that may be broadcast during programming designed for children 12 years of age and younger. In addition, under FCC license renewal processing guidelines, television stations are generally required to broadcast a minimum of three hours per week of programming, which, among other requirements, must serve, as a “significant purpose,” the educational and informational needs of children 16 years of age and under. A television station found not to have complied with the programming requirements or commercial limitations could face sanctions, including monetary fines and the possible non-renewal of its license.

FCC rules prohibit the broadcast by television and radio stations of indecent or profane material between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Beginning in March 2004, the FCC implemented a new policy regarding this prohibition and generally stepped up its enforcement of indecency violations. Under the new policy, the single use of certain forbidden expletives, or variations of those expletives, were deemed “indecent” and “profane.” The FCC also warned broadcasters that serious multiple violations of the indecency prohibition could lead to license revocation proceedings, and that fines could be imposed for each incident in a single broadcast. Under the new FCC policy, both complaints about indecency and FCC enforcement actions have increased, and several complaints alleging the broadcast of alleged indecent or profane material by Fox Television Stations are pending at the FCC. The law currently authorizes the FCC to impose fines of up to $350,000 per incident for violation of the prohibition against indecent and profane broadcasts.

On March 15, 2006, the FCC determined that the 2002 and 2003 Billboard Music Awards programs, both live broadcasts on FOX, violated the prohibitions against indecent and profane broadcasts because they contained isolated uses of the forbidden expletives. On June 21, 2012, the Supreme Court decided that the FCC failed to give FOX fair notice that the isolated use of expletives could violate the indecency prohibition and therefore the Commission’s standards as applied to the broadcasts in question were unconstitutionally vague. The Court vacated the violations for the Billboard Music Awards broadcasts. On April 1, 2013, the FCC announced it had reduced the backlog of pending indecency complaints and would focus its enforcement on “egregious” cases. The FCC also sought public comment on whether its indecency policies should be altered in light of the Supreme Court’s decision. It is not possible to predict the outcome of the FCC’s inquiry or how it will enforce its indecency rules in the future.

On February 22, 2008, the FCC issued an order imposing forfeitures of $7,000 each on 13 FOX Affiliates, including five stations owned and operated by the Company, on the grounds that an April 7, 2003 episode of the program Married by America violated the prohibition against indecent broadcasts. On April 4, 2008, the United States commenced an action in federal district court in the District of Columbia against the five Company-owned stations to collect the forfeitures imposed by the FCC. In 2012, the government voluntarily dismissed this collection action. The Company subsequently petitioned the FCC to vacate the forfeitures against the Company and other FOX stations that had been found to have violated the indecency prohibition. The petition remains pending and it is not possible to predict the timing or outcome of FCC action.

Modifications to the Company’s programming to reduce the risk of indecency violations could have an adverse effect on the competitive position of Fox Television Stations and FOX. If indecency regulation is extended to cable and satellite programming, and such extension was found to be constitutional, some of the Company’s cable programming services could be subject to additional regulation that might affect subscription and viewership levels.

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The FCC continues to enforce strictly its regulations concerning political advertising, children’s television, environmental concerns, equal employment opportunity, technical operating matters and antenna tower maintenance. FCC rules require the closed captioning of almost all broadcast and cable programming. A federal law enacted in late 2010 requires affiliates of the four largest broadcast networks in the 25 largest markets to carry 50 hours of prime time or children’s programming per calendar quarter with video descriptions, i.e., a verbal description of key visual elements inserted into natural pauses in the audio and broadcast over a separate audio channel. Cable and satellite operators with 50,000 or more subscribers must do the same on each of the top five non-broadcast networks they carry. Compliance has been required since July 1, 2012 and, as of July 1, 2015, applies to FOX affiliates in the Top 60 markets. Fox News Channel, which from time to time has been among the top five non-broadcast networks, falls within the statutory exemption for “live or near-live” programming. The same statute requires programming that was captioned on television to retain captions when distributed via Internet Protocol apps or services. Although not required by FCC regulation, the Company has committed to provide program ratings information for its broadcast network programming for use in conjunction with V Chip technology, which blocks the display of television programming based on its rating. The Company has also agreed to make this ratings information available for all full-length entertainment programs that stream on websites the Company controls. FCC regulations governing network affiliation agreements mandate that television broadcast station licensees retain the right to reject or refuse network programming in certain circumstances or to substitute programming that the licensee reasonably believes to be of greater local or national importance. Violation of FCC regulations can result in substantial monetary forfeitures, periodic reporting conditions, short-term license renewals and, in egregious cases, denial of license renewal or revocation of license.

Filmed Entertainment

United States. TCFF is subject to the provisions of so-called “trade practice laws” in effect in 25 states relating to theatrical distribution of motion pictures. These laws substantially restrict the licensing of motion pictures unless theater owners are first invited to attend a screening of the motion pictures and, in certain instances, also prohibit payment of advances and guarantees to motion picture distributors by exhibitors. Further, pursuant to various consent judgments, TCFF and certain other motion picture companies are subject to certain restrictions on their trade practices in the United States, including a requirement to offer motion pictures for exhibition to theaters on a theater-by-theater basis and, in some cases, a prohibition against the ownership of theaters.

Other International Regulation. In countries outside of the United States, there are a variety of existing or contemplated governmental laws and regulations that may affect the ability of TCFF to distribute and/or license its motion picture and television products to cinema, television or in-home media, including copyright laws and regulations that may or may not be adequate to protect its interests, cinema screen quotas, television quotas, contract term limitations, discriminatory taxes and other discriminatory treatment of U.S. products. The ability of countries to deny market access or refuse national treatment to products originating outside their territories is regulated under various international agreements, including the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and General Agreement on Trade and Services; however, these agreements have limited application with respect to preventing the denial of market access to audio-visual products originating outside the European Union.

Internet

The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (“COPPA”) prohibits websites from collecting personally identifiable information online from children under age 13 without prior parental consent. The Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (“CAN-SPAM”) regulates the distribution of unsolicited commercial emails, or “spam.” The Video Privacy Protection Act (“VPPA”) prohibits the knowing disclosure of information that identifies a person as having requested or obtained specific video materials from a “video tape service provider.” Online services provided by the Company may be subject to COPPA, CAN-SPAM and VPPA requirements.

Federal regulators’ interest in issues of privacy, cybersecurity and data security has been steadily increasing. On February 23, 2012, the Administration issued a white paper on consumer data privacy that includes a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. The Administration convened multi-stakeholder processes to implement the Bill of Rights through industry codes of conduct that would be enforceable by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and State Attorneys General. The Administration also announced it would work with Congress to implement these rights

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through legislation and in February 2015 proposed a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights Act. The first multi-stakeholder group focused on creation of a Do-Not-Track standard but no agreement was reached by the participants. On March 26, 2012, the FTC released a report on consumer privacy, which sets forth a detailed privacy framework and urges industry to accelerate the pace of adoption of self-regulatory measures, including more widespread adoption of a Do-Not-Track browser mechanism. The report also recommends that Congress consider baseline privacy legislation incorporating the principles articulated in the framework. In May 2014, additional reports were issued by the Administration and the FTC on Big Data and data brokers, and the Administration called for public comments on how developments related to “big data” impact the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

A number of privacy and data security bills have been introduced in both Houses of Congress that address the collection, maintenance and use of personal information, web browsing and geolocation data, data security and breach notification requirements, and cybersecurity. Some state legislatures have already adopted legislation that regulates how businesses operate on the Internet, including measures relating to privacy, data security and data breaches. The industry released a set of self-regulatory online behavioral advertising principles in 2009, which have been implemented by web publishers, online advertisers and online advertising networks. In November 2011, these principles were extended to the use of online consumer data for purposes other than advertising and in July 2013 to the mobile environment. The industry is also working on principles that would establish a self-regulatory browser-based Do-Not-Track regime. It is unclear whether these and other industry self-regulatory efforts alone will address the concerns expressed by some federal and state officials about the collection of anonymous data online or via mobile applications to serve targeted content and advertising. It is not possible to predict whether proposed privacy and data security legislation will be enacted or to determine what effect such legislation might have on the Company’s business.

Foreign governments are raising similar privacy and data security concerns. In particular, the EU has proposed a new privacy regulation (the “EU Regulation”) that would replace the current Data Protection Directive, would tighten regulation of the collection, use and security of online data and would continue to restrict the trans-border flow of data. Several European countries have issued new guidelines under the EU Cookie Directive that require robust disclosures and consumer choice before a user can be tracked online. European industry has implemented a self-regulatory regime for online behavioral advertising that is largely consistent with the U.S. self-regulatory framework. The proposed EU Regulation will not be effective for at least a year and may undergo many changes before it is adopted. It is unclear how the final EU Regulation would affect the Company’s business. Canada, Australia and countries in South/Latin America and Asia are also strengthening their privacy laws and the enforcement of privacy and data security requirements.

The Company monitors pending legislation and regulatory initiatives to ascertain relevance, analyze impact and develop strategic direction surrounding regulatory trends and developments.

Intellectual Property

The Company’s intellectual property assets include: copyrights in motion pictures, television programming, books, publications, websites and technologies; trademarks in names, logos and characters; domain names; patents or patent applications for inventions related to its products, business methods and/or services; and licenses of intellectual property rights of various kinds. The Company derives value from these assets through the theatrical release of films and the production, distribution and/or licensing of its films and television programming to domestic and international television and cable networks, pay television services, pay-per-view, video-on-demand services and DTH satellite services, operation of websites, and through the sale of products, such as DVDs, Blu-rays, books and publications, among others.

The Company devotes significant resources to protecting its intellectual property in the United States and other key foreign territories. To protect these assets, the Company relies upon a combination of copyright, trademark, unfair competition, patent, trade secret and other laws and contract provisions. However, there can be no assurance of the degree to which these measures will be successful in any given case. Policing unauthorized use of the Company’s products and services and related intellectual property is often difficult and the steps taken may not in every case prevent the infringement by unauthorized third parties of the Company’s intellectual property. The Company seeks to limit that threat through a combination of approaches, including offering legitimate market alternatives, deploying digital rights management technologies, pursuing legal sanctions for infringement, promoting

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appropriate legislative initiatives and international treaties and enhancing public awareness of the meaning and value of intellectual property and intellectual property laws. Piracy, including in the digital environment, continues to present a threat to revenues from products and services based on intellectual property.

Third parties may challenge the validity or scope of the Company’s intellectual property from time to time, and such challenges could result in the limitation or loss of intellectual property rights. Irrespective of their validity, such claims may result in substantial costs and diversion of resources that could have an adverse effect on the Company’s operations. Moreover, effective intellectual property protection may be either unavailable or limited in certain foreign territories. Therefore, the Company engages in efforts to strengthen and update intellectual property protection around the world, including efforts to ensure the effective enforcement of intellectual property laws and remedies for infringement.

 

ITEM 1A.

RISK FACTORS

Prospective investors should consider carefully the risk factors set forth below before making an investment in the Company’s securities.

The Company Must Respond to Changes in Consumer Behavior as a Result of New Technologies in Order to Remain Competitive.

Technology, particularly digital technology used in the entertainment industry, continues to evolve rapidly, leading to alternative methods for the delivery and storage of digital content. These technological advancements have driven changes in consumer behavior and have empowered consumers to seek more control over when, where and how they consume digital content. Content owners are increasingly delivering their content directly to consumers over the Internet and innovations in distribution platforms have enabled consumers to view such Internet-delivered content on televisions and portable devices. The growth of direct to consumer video offerings, including video on demand offerings, as well as offerings by cable providers of smaller packages of programming to customers at price points lower than traditional cable distribution offerings could adversely affect demand for our cable channels. There is a risk that the Company’s responses to these changes and strategies to remain competitive, or failure to effectively anticipate or adapt to new market changes, could adversely affect our business. In addition, enhanced Internet capabilities and other new media may reduce television viewership, the demand for DVDs and Blu-rays and the desire to see motion pictures in theaters, which could negatively affect the Company’s revenues. The Company’s failure to protect and exploit the value of its content, while responding to and developing new technology and business models to take advantage of advancements in technology and the latest consumer preferences, could have a significant adverse effect on the Company’s businesses, asset values and results of operations.

Acceptance of the Company’s Films and Television Programming by the Public is Difficult to Predict, Which Could Lead to Fluctuations in Revenues.

Feature film and television production and distribution are speculative businesses since the revenues derived from the production and distribution of a feature film or television series depend primarily upon its acceptance by the public, which is difficult to predict. The commercial success of a feature film or television series also depends upon the quality and acceptance of other competing films and television series released into the marketplace at or near the same time, the availability of a growing number of alternative forms of entertainment and leisure time activities, general economic conditions and their effects on consumer spending and other tangible and intangible factors, all of which can change and cannot be predicted with certainty. Further, the theatrical success of a feature film and the audience ratings for a television series are generally key factors in generating revenues from other distribution channels, such as home entertainment and premium pay television, with respect to feature films, and syndication, with respect to television series.

The Inability to Renew Sports Programming Rights Could Cause the Company’s Affiliate and Advertising Revenue to Decline Significantly in any Given Period or in Specific Markets.

The sports rights contracts between the Company, on the one hand, and various professional sports leagues and teams, on the other, have varying duration and renewal terms. As these contracts expire, renewals on favorable terms may be sought; however, third parties may outbid the current rights holders for the rights contracts. In

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addition, professional sports leagues or teams may create their own networks or the renewal costs could substantially exceed the original contract cost. The loss of rights could impact the extent of the sports coverage offered by the Company and its affiliates, as it relates to FOX, and could adversely affect the Company’s advertising and affiliate revenues. Upon renewal, the Company’s results could be adversely affected if escalations in sports programming rights costs are unmatched by increases in advertising rates and, in the case of cable networks, subscriber fees.

A Decline in Advertising Expenditures Could Cause the Company’s Revenues and Operating Results to Decline Significantly in any Given Period or in Specific Markets.

The Company derives substantial revenues from the sale of advertising on or in its television stations, broadcast and cable networks and direct broadcast satellite services. Expenditures by advertisers tend to be cyclical, reflecting overall economic conditions, as well as budgeting and buying patterns. A decline in the economic prospects of advertisers or the economy in general could alter current or prospective advertisers’ spending priorities. Demand for the Company’s products is also a factor in determining advertising rates. For example, ratings points for the Company’s television stations and broadcast and cable networks are factors that are weighed when determining advertising rates, and with respect to the Company’s television stations and broadcast and television networks, when determining the affiliate rates received by the Company. In addition, newer technologies, including new video formats, streaming and downloading capabilities via the Internet, video-on-demand, personal video recorders and other devices and technologies are increasing the number of media and entertainment choices available to audiences. Some of these devices and technologies allow users to view television or motion pictures from a remote location or on a time-delayed basis and provide users the ability to fast-forward, rewind, pause and skip programming and advertisements. These technological developments which are increasing the number of media and entertainment choices available to audiences could negatively impact not only consumer demand for our content and services but also could affect the attractiveness of the Company’s offerings to viewers, advertisers and/or distributors. Failure to effectively anticipate or adapt to emerging technologies or changes in consumer behavior could have an adverse effect on our business. Further, a decrease in advertising expenditures, reduced demand for the Company’s offerings or the inability to obtain market ratings that adequately measure demand for the Company’s content on personal video recorders and mobile devices could lead to a reduction in pricing and advertising spending, which could have an adverse effect on the Company’s businesses and assets.

The Loss of Carriage Agreements Could Cause the Company’s Revenue and Operating Results to Decline Significantly in any Given Period or in Specific Markets.

The Company’s broadcast stations and cable networks maintain affiliation and carriage arrangements that enable them to reach a large percentage of cable and direct broadcast satellite households across the United States. The loss of a significant number of these arrangements or the loss of carriage on basic programming tiers could reduce the distribution of the Company’s broadcast stations and cable networks, which may adversely affect those networks’ revenues from subscriber fees and their ability to sell national and local advertising time. The Company is dependent upon the maintenance of affiliation agreements with third party owned television stations and there can be no assurance that these affiliation agreements will be renewed in the future on terms acceptable to the Company. The loss of a significant number of these affiliation arrangements could reduce the distribution of FOX and MyNetworkTV and adversely affect the Company’s ability to sell national advertising time.

The Company Relies on Network and Information Systems and Other Technology Whose Failure or Misuse, Could Cause a Disruption of Services or Improper Disclosure of Personal Data, Business Information, Including Intellectual Property, or Other Confidential Information, Resulting in Increased Costs or Loss of Revenue.

Network and information systems and other technologies, including those related to the Company’s network management, are important to its business activities. Network and information systems-related events, such as computer hackings, theft, computer viruses, worms or other destructive or disruptive software, process breakdowns, denial of service attacks, malicious social engineering or other malicious activities, or any combination of the foregoing, as well as power outages, natural disasters (including extreme weather), terrorist activities or human error that may affect such systems, could result in disruption of our services or improper disclosure of personal data, business information, including intellectual property, or other confidential information. In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of sophisticated cyber attacks on network and information systems, and as a result, the risks associated with such an event continue to increase. The Company has experienced, and expects to continue to be subject to, cybersecurity threats and incidents, none of which has been material to the Company to date. While

25


 

we continue to develop, implement and maintain security measures seeking to prevent unauthorized access to or misuse of our network and information systems, such efforts may not be successful in preventing these events from occurring given that the techniques used to access, disable or degrade service, or sabotage systems change frequently. The development and maintenance of these measures is costly and requires ongoing monitoring and updating as technologies change and efforts to overcome security measures become more sophisticated.  Significant security breaches, such as misappropriation, misuse, leakage, falsification, accidental release, or otherwise improper disclosure of information maintained in the Company’s information systems and networks or those of our vendors, including financial, personal, confidential and proprietary information relating to personnel, customers, vendors and our business, including our intellectual property, could result in a disruption of our operations, customer or advertiser dissatisfaction, damage to our reputation or brands, regulatory investigations, lawsuits or  loss of customers or revenue.  In addition the Company may be subject to liability under relevant contractual obligations and laws and regulations protecting personal data and privacy, and may require us to expend significant resources to remedy any such security breach.

Technological Developments May Increase the Threat of Content Piracy and Signal Theft and Limit the Company’s Ability to Protect Its Intellectual Property Rights.

Content piracy and signal theft present a threat to the Company’s revenues from products and services, including, but not limited to, films, television shows, cable and other programming. The Company seeks to limit the threat of content piracy and direct broadcast satellite programming signal theft; however, policing unauthorized use of the Company’s products and services and related intellectual property is often difficult and the steps taken by the Company may not in every case prevent the infringement by unauthorized third parties. Developments in technology, including digital copying, file compressing and the growing penetration of high-bandwidth Internet connections, increase the threat of content piracy by making it easier to duplicate and widely distribute high-quality pirated material. In addition, developments in software or devices that circumvent encryption technology and the falling prices of devices incorporating such technologies increase the threat of unauthorized use and distribution of direct broadcast satellite programming signals and the proliferation of user-generated content sites and live and stored video streaming sites, which deliver unauthorized copies of copyrighted content, including those emanating from other countries in various languages, may adversely impact the Company’s businesses. The proliferation of unauthorized distribution and use of the Company’s content could have an adverse effect on the Company’s businesses and profitability because it reduces the revenue that the Company could potentially receive from the legitimate sale and distribution of its products and services.

The Company has taken, and will continue to take, a variety of actions to combat piracy and signal theft, both individually and, in some instances, together with industry associations. However, protection of the Company’s intellectual property rights is dependent on the scope and duration of the Company’s rights as defined by applicable laws in the United States and abroad and the manner in which those laws are construed. If those laws are drafted or interpreted in ways that limit the extent or duration of the Company’s rights, or if existing laws are changed, the Company’s ability to generate revenue from intellectual property may decrease, or the cost of obtaining and enforcing our rights may increase. There can be no assurance that the Company’s efforts to enforce its rights and protect its products, services and intellectual property will be successful in preventing content piracy or signal theft. Further, while piracy and technology tools continue to escalate, if any U.S. or international laws intended to combat piracy and protect intellectual property are repealed or weakened or not adequately enforced, or if the legal system fails to evolve and adapt to new technologies that facilitate piracy, we may be unable to effectively protect our rights and the value of our intellectual property may be negatively impacted and our costs of enforcing our rights could increase.

Fluctuations in Foreign Exchange Rates Could Have an Adverse Effect on the Company’s Results of Operations.

The Company has significant operations in a number of foreign jurisdictions and certain of the Company operations are conducted in foreign currencies. The value of these currencies fluctuates relative to the U.S. dollar. For example, in fiscal 2015, the U.S. dollar appreciated in relation to the Euro, the Canadian dollar, the Mexican Peso and the Brazilian Real. As a result, the Company is exposed to exchange rate fluctuations, which could have an adverse effect on its results of operations in a given period or in specific markets. Even though the Company uses foreign currency derivative instruments to hedge certain exposures to foreign currency exchange rate risks, the use of such derivative instruments may not be effective in reducing the adverse financial effects of unfavorable movements in foreign exchange rates.

26


 

For example, our business activities in Venezuela operate in a highly inflationary economy. In February 2015, the Venezuelan government introduced a new foreign currency exchange system called the Marginal Currency System (“SIMADI”). Accordingly, the Company has remeasured all its Venezuelan Bolivar denominated net monetary assets at the devalued SIMADI exchange rate. The Company had previously used the Supplementary Foreign Currency Administration System (“SICAD 2”) rate. During fiscal 2014 and 2015, we remeasured all our Bolivar denominated net monetary assets at the SICAD 2 and SIMADI exchange rates, respectively, resulting in devaluation losses (See Note 22 – Additional Financial Information to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements of Twenty-First Century Fox for further discussion). The Venezuelan government may issue more regulations or take other steps that might introduce significant uncertainty regarding the exchange rate that we can access to convert our Venezuelan Bolivar denominated monetary assets to U.S. dollars. Such measures can also affect our decision on which exchange rate(s) to use for financial reporting purposes. In addition, other countries where we have operations, including in Latin America, may be determined in the future to be highly inflationary economies, requiring special accounting and financial reporting treatment for such operations.  

Labor Disputes May Have an Adverse Effect on the Company’s Business.

In a variety of the Company’s businesses, the Company and its partners engage the services of writers, directors, actors and other talent, trade employees and others who are subject to collective bargaining agreements, including employees of the Company’s film and television studio operations. If the Company or its partners are unable to renew expiring collective bargaining agreements, it is possible that the affected unions could take action in the form of strikes or work stoppages. Such actions, as well as higher costs in connection with these collective bargaining agreements or a significant labor dispute, could have an adverse effect on the Company’s business by causing delays in production or by reducing profit margins.

Changes in U.S. or Foreign Regulations May Have an Adverse Effect on the Company’s Business.

The Company is subject to a variety of U.S. and foreign regulations in the jurisdictions in which its businesses operate. In general, the television broadcasting and multichannel video programming and distribution industries in the United States are highly regulated by federal laws and regulations issued and administered by various federal agencies, including the FCC. The FCC generally regulates, among other things, the ownership of media, broadcast and multichannel video programming and technical operations of broadcast licensees. Our program services and online properties are subject to a variety of laws and regulations, including those relating to issues such as content regulation, user privacy and data protection, and consumer protection, among others. Further, the United States Congress, the FCC and state legislatures currently have under consideration, and may in the future adopt, new laws, regulations and policies regarding a wide variety of matters, including technological changes and measures relating to privacy and data security, which could, directly or indirectly, affect the operations and ownership of the Company’s U.S. media properties. Similarly, new laws or regulations or changes in interpretations of law or in regulations imposed by governments in other jurisdictions in which the Company, or entities in which the Company has an interest, operate could require changes in the operations or ownership of our media properties. In addition, laws in non-U.S. jurisdictions which regulate, among other things, licensing arrangements, local content requirements, carriage requirements regarding pricing and distribution, and limitations on advertising time, may impact the operations and results of our international businesses.

In addition, changes in tax laws, regulations or the interpretations thereof in the U.S. and other jurisdictions in which the Company has operations could affect the Company’s results of operations.

U.S. Citizenship Requirements May Limit Common Stock Ownership and Voting Rights.

The Company owns broadcast station licensees in connection with its ownership and operation of U.S. television stations. Under U.S. law, no broadcast station licensee may be owned by a corporation if more than 25% of its stock is owned or voted by non-U.S. persons, their representatives, or by any other corporation organized under the laws of a foreign country. The Company’s Restated Certificate of Incorporation authorizes the Board of Directors to prevent, cure or mitigate the effect of stock ownership above the applicable foreign ownership threshold by taking any action including: refusing to permit any transfer of common stock to or ownership of common stock by a non-U.S. stockholder; voiding a transfer of common stock to a non-U.S. stockholder; suspending rights of stock ownership if held by a non-U.S. stockholder; or redeeming common stock held by a non-U.S. stockholder. In order to maintain compliance with U.S. law, the suspension of voting rights of the Class B Common Stock held by non-

27


 

U.S. stockholders is currently at 10%. This suspension will remain in place for as long as the Company deems it necessary to maintain compliance with applicable U.S. law, and may be adjusted by the Audit Committee as it deems appropriate. The Company is not able to predict whether it will need to adjust the suspension or whether additional action pursuant to its Restated Certificate of Incorporation may be necessary. The FCC could review the Company’s compliance with applicable U.S. law in connection with its consideration of the Company’s renewal applications for licenses to operate the broadcast stations the Company owns.

The Company is exposed to risks associated with weak domestic and global economic conditions and increased volatility and disruption in the financial markets.

The Company’s businesses, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by weak domestic and global economic conditions. Factors that affect economic conditions include the rate of unemployment, the level of consumer confidence and changes in consumer spending habits. The Company also faces risks, including currency volatility and the stability of global local economies, associated with the impact of weak domestic and global economic conditions on advertisers, affiliates, suppliers, wholesale distributors, retailers, insurers, theater operators and others with which it does business.

Increased volatility and disruptions in the financial markets could make it more difficult and more expensive for the Company to refinance outstanding indebtedness and obtain new financing. Disruptions in the financial markets can also adversely affect the Company’s lenders, insurers, customers and counterparties, including vendors, retailers and film co-financing partners. For instance, the inability of the Company’s counterparties to obtain capital on acceptable terms could impair their ability to perform under their agreements with the Company and lead to negative effects on the Company, including business disruptions, decreased revenues and increases in bad debt expenses.

The Company Could Suffer Losses Due to Asset Impairment Charges for Goodwill, Intangible Assets and Programming.

In accordance with applicable generally accepted accounting principles, the Company performs an annual impairment assessment of its recorded goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets, including FCC licenses, during the fourth quarter of each fiscal year. The Company also continually evaluates whether current factors or indicators, such as the prevailing conditions in the capital markets, require the performance of an interim impairment assessment of those assets, as well as other investments and other long-lived assets. Any significant shortfall, now or in the future, in advertising revenue and/or the expected popularity of the programming for which the Company has acquired rights could lead to a downward revision in the fair value of certain reporting units. A downward revision in the fair value of a reporting unit, indefinite-lived intangible assets, investments or long-lived assets could result in an impairment and a non-cash charge would be required. Any such charge could be material to the Company’s reported net earnings.

Risks Related to the Separation

If the Separation, Together with Certain Related Transactions, Were Ultimately Determined to be Taxable Transactions for U.S. Federal Income Tax Purposes, then We Could Be Subject to Significant Tax Liability.

The Company received (i) a private letter ruling from the IRS substantially to the effect that, among other things, the distribution of Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock of News Corp qualifies as tax-free under Sections 368 and 355 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) except for cash received in lieu of fractional shares of News Corp stock and (ii) an opinion from the law firm of Hogan Lovells US LLP confirming the tax-free status of the distribution for U.S. federal income tax purposes, including confirming the satisfaction of the requirements under Section 368 and 355 of the Code not specifically addressed in the IRS private letter ruling. The opinion of Hogan Lovells US LLP will not be binding on the IRS or the courts, and there is no assurance that the IRS or a court will not take a contrary position.

The private letter ruling and the opinion rely on certain facts and assumptions, and certain representations from the Company and News Corp regarding the past and future conduct of our respective businesses and other matters. Notwithstanding the receipt of the private letter ruling and the opinion, the IRS could determine on audit that the distribution or the internal transactions should be treated as taxable transactions if it determines that any of

28


 

these facts, assumptions, representations or undertakings is not correct or has been violated, or that the distribution or the internal transactions should be taxable for other reasons, including as a result of a significant change in stock or asset ownership after the distribution. If the distribution ultimately is determined to be taxable, the distribution could be treated as a taxable dividend or capital gain for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and U.S. stockholders and certain non-U.S. stockholders could incur significant U.S. federal income tax liabilities. In addition, if the internal reorganization and/or the distribution is ultimately determined to be taxable, the Company would recognize gains on the internal reorganization and/or recognize gain in an amount equal to the excess of the fair market value of shares of the News Corp common stock distributed to our stockholders on the distribution date over our tax basis in such shares of our common stock.

We Could Be Liable for Income Taxes Owed by News Corp.

Each member of our consolidated group, which until June 28, 2013 included News Corp and each of our other subsidiaries, is jointly and severally liable for the U.S. federal income tax liability of each other member of the consolidated group. Consequently, we could be liable in the event any such liability is incurred, and not discharged, by any other member of our consolidated group. Under the terms of the tax sharing and indemnification agreement that we entered into in connection with the Separation, we will be required to indemnify News Corp for any such liability. Disputes or assessments could arise during future audits by the IRS in amounts that we cannot quantify.

Certain of Our Directors and Officers May Have Actual or Potential Conflicts of Interest Because of Their Equity Ownership in News Corp, and Certain of Our Officers and Directors May Have Actual or Potential Conflicts of Interest Because They Also Serve as Officers and/or on the Board of Directors of News Corp.

Certain of our directors and executive officers own shares of News Corp’s common stock, and the individual holdings may be significant for some of these individuals compared to their total assets. In addition, certain of our officers and directors also serve as officers and/or as directors of News Corp, including our Executive Chairmen K. Rupert Murdoch, who serves as News Corp’s Executive Chairman, and Lachlan K. Murdoch, who serves as News Corp’s Co-Chairman. This ownership or service to both companies may create, or may create the appearance of, conflicts of interest when these directors and officers are faced with decisions that could have different implications for News Corp and us. In addition to any other arrangements that the Company and News Corp may agree to implement, the Company and News Corp agreed that officers and directors who serve at both companies will recuse themselves from decisions where conflicts arise due to their positions at both companies.

 

 

 

29


 

ITEM 1B.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

 

ITEM 2.

PROPERTIES

The Company owns and leases various real properties in North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia that are utilized in the conduct of its businesses. Each of these properties is considered to be in good condition, adequate for its purpose and suitably utilized according to the individual nature and requirements of the relevant operations. The Company’s policy is to improve and replace property as considered appropriate to meet the needs of the individual operation.

North America

The Company’s principal real properties in North America are the following:

(a)

The Fox Studios Lot, in Los Angeles, California, owned by the Company, containing sound stages, production facilities, administrative, technical and dressing room structures, screening theaters and machinery, equipment facilities and four restaurants;

(b)

The leased office space at Fox Plaza, located adjacent to the Fox Studios Lot, in Los Angeles, California;

(c)

The leased and owned U.S. headquarters of the Company, located in New York, New York which includes home offices for Fox News and Fox Television Stations and various other operations;

(d)

The leased office and production facilities of Blue Sky Studios in Greenwich, Connecticut;

(e)

The leased and owned offices of FSN, Inc. at various locations for studio sports broadcasting;

(f)

The leased and owned facilities of Fox Television Stations at various locations; and

(g)

The leased sports broadcasting and production facility of FIC in Mexico City, Mexico.

South America

The Company’s principal real properties in South America are the following:

(a)

The owned broadcasting and transmission facility of FIC in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and

(b)

The leased sports broadcasting and production facility of FIC in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Europe

The Company’s principal real property in Europe is the leased office and theater space of TCFF and FIC in London, England.  

Australia and Asia

The Company’s principal real properties in Australia and Asia are the following:

(a)

The leased Fox Studios Australia Lot in Sydney, Australia, containing sound stages, production facilities and administrative, technical, dressing room and personnel support services structures;

(b)

The leased premises in Hong Kong and other Asian cities used by FIC for its television broadcasting and programming operations; and

(c)

The leased and owned premises in Mumbai, India used by STAR India for its corporate office and programming operations.

 

30


 

ITEM 3.

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Shareholder Litigation

Southern District of New York

On July 19, 2011, a purported class action lawsuit captioned Wilder v. News Corp., et al. (“Wilder Litigation”), was filed on behalf of all purchasers of the Company’s common stock between March 3, 2011 and July 11, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff brought claims under Section 10(b) and Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act, alleging that false and misleading statements were issued regarding the alleged acts of voicemail interception at The News of the World. The suit names as defendants the Company, Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, and seeks compensatory damages, rescission for damages sustained, and costs. On June 5, 2012, the court issued an order appointing the Avon Pension Fund (“Avon”) as lead plaintiff and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd as lead counsel. Thereafter, on July 3, 2012, the court issued an order providing that an amended consolidated complaint shall be filed by July 31, 2012. Avon filed an amended consolidated complaint on July 31, 2012, which among other things, added as defendants NI Group Limited (now known as News Corp UK & Ireland Limited) and Les Hinton, and expanded the class period to include February 15, 2011 to July 18, 2011. The defendants filed motions to dismiss the litigation, which were granted by the court on March 31, 2014. Plaintiffs were allowed to amend their complaint, and on April 30, 2014, plaintiffs filed a second amended consolidated complaint, which generally repeats the allegations of the amended consolidated complaint and also expands the class period to July 8, 2009 to July 18, 2011. On August 11, 2014, defendants filed motions to dismiss the second amended consolidated complaint, and on October 24, 2014, plaintiffs opposed those motions. On November 21, 2014, defendants filed their replies to plaintiffs’ opposition. The Company’s management believes the claims in the Wilder Litigation are entirely without merit, and intends to vigorously defend those claims.

Other

The Company’s operations are subject to tax in various domestic and international jurisdictions and as a matter of course, the Company is regularly audited by federal, state and foreign tax authorities. The Company believes it has appropriately accrued for the expected outcome of all pending tax matters and does not currently anticipate that the ultimate resolution of pending tax matters will have a material adverse effect on its consolidated financial condition, future results of operations or liquidity.

 

ITEM 4.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

 

31


 

PART II

 

ITEM  5.

MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Twenty-First Century Fox’s Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock are listed and traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (“NASDAQ”) under the symbols “FOXA” and “FOX”, respectively. Until May 8, 2014, CHESS Depositary Interests (“CDIs”) representing the Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock were traded on the Australian Securities Exchange (the “ASX”) under the symbols “FOXLV” and “FOX,” respectively. As a result of the delisting from the ASX, Twenty-First Century Fox is solely listed and traded on the NASDAQ. As of June 30, 2015, there were approximately 36,000 holders of record of shares of Class A Common Stock and 11,300 holders of record of shares of Class B Common Stock.

The following table sets forth, for the fiscal periods indicated, the reported high and low sales prices for Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock as reported on NASDAQ:

 

 

 

Class B

Common Stock

 

 

Class A

Common Stock

 

 

 

High

 

 

Low

 

 

Dividend(a)

 

 

High

 

 

Low

 

 

Dividend(a)

 

Fiscal Year Ended June 30,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter

 

$

33.40

 

 

$

29.34

 

 

$

0.125

 

 

$

33.51

 

 

$

29.21

 

 

$

0.125

 

Second Quarter

 

 

34.85

 

 

 

31.65

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

35.18

 

 

 

32.20

 

 

 

-

 

Third Quarter

 

 

35.04

 

 

 

30.21

 

 

 

0.125

 

 

 

35.63

 

 

 

30.73

 

 

 

0.125

 

Fourth Quarter

 

 

35.36

 

 

 

30.77

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

36.21

 

 

 

31.65

 

 

 

-

 

2015:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Quarter

 

 

35.28

 

 

 

31.03

 

 

 

0.125

 

 

 

36.30

 

 

 

31.30

 

 

 

0.125

 

Second Quarter

 

 

37.50

 

 

 

30.71

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

39.01

 

 

 

31.77

 

 

 

-

 

Third Quarter

 

 

36.52

 

 

 

31.78

 

 

 

0.150

 

 

 

37.85

 

 

 

32.80

 

 

 

0.150

 

Fourth Quarter

 

 

34.43

 

 

 

31.88

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

34.65

 

 

 

32.26

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

(a)

Cash dividend declared per share.

The timing and amount of cash dividends, if any, is determined by the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”). Subsequent to June 30, 2015, the Company declared a dividend of $0.150 per share on both the Class A Common Stock and the Class B Common Stock, which is payable on October 14, 2015. The record date for determining dividend entitlements is September 9, 2015.

The Board has authorized a stock repurchase program, under which the Company is currently authorized to acquire Class A Common Stock. The remaining amount as of June 30, 2015 under the Company’s $6 billion authorization approved by the Board in August 2014, excluding commissions, was approximately $0.6 billion which was utilized in full subsequent to June 30, 2015. In August 2015, the Company announced that the Board approved an additional $5 billion authorization, excluding commissions, to the Company’s stock repurchase program for the repurchase of Class A Common Stock. The Company intends to complete this stock repurchase program by August 2016.

The program may be modified, extended, suspended or discontinued at any time.

32


 

Below is a summary of the Company’s repurchases of its Class A Common Stock during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015:

 

 

 

Total number

of shares

repurchased

 

 

Average

price per

share

 

 

Total cost

of repurchase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in millions)

 

Total first quarter fiscal 2015

 

 

36,761,082

 

 

$

34.63

 

 

$

1,273

 

Total second quarter fiscal 2015

 

 

42,094,385

 

 

 

34.61

 

 

 

1,457

 

Total third quarter fiscal 2015

 

 

59,145,159

 

 

 

34.73

 

 

 

2,054

 

Fourth quarter repurchases:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April

 

 

15,353,529

 

 

 

34.06

 

 

 

523

 

May

 

 

5,862,985

 

 

 

33.60

 

 

 

197

 

June

 

 

13,104,780

 

 

 

33.19

 

 

 

435

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total fourth quarter fiscal 2015

 

 

34,321,294

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

1,155

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total fiscal 2015

 

 

172,321,920

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

5,939

 

The Company did not repurchase any of its Class B Common Stock during the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015.

 

33


 

ITEM 6.

SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The selected consolidated financial data should be read in conjunction with “Item 7 - Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Item 8 - Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” and the other financial information included elsewhere herein.

 

 

 

For the years ended June 30,

 

 

 

2015(a)

 

 

2014(a)

 

 

2013(a)

 

 

2012(b)

 

 

2011(c)

 

 

 

(in millions, except per share data)

 

STATEMENT OF OPERATIONS DATA:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues

 

$

28,987

 

 

$

31,867

 

 

$

27,675

 

 

$

25,051

 

 

$

24,232

 

Income from continuing operations attributable to Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. stockholders

 

 

8,373

 

 

 

3,785

 

 

 

6,820

 

 

 

3,176

 

 

 

2,296

 

Net income attributable to Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. stockholders

 

 

8,306

 

 

 

4,514

 

 

 

7,097

 

 

 

1,179

 

 

 

2,739

 

Income from continuing operations attributable to Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. stockholders per share - basic

 

$

3.94

 

 

$

1.67

 

 

$

2.91

 

 

$

1.27

 

 

$

0.87

 

Income from continuing operations attributable to Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. stockholders per share - diluted

 

$

3.93

 

 

$

1.67

 

 

$

2.91

 

 

$

1.27

 

 

$

0.87

 

Net income attributable to Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. stockholders per share - basic

 

$

3.91

 

 

$

1.99

 

 

$

3.03

 

 

$

0.47

 

 

$

1.04

 

Net income attributable to Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. stockholders per share - diluted

 

$

3.90

 

 

$

1.99

 

 

$

3.03

 

 

$

0.47

 

 

$

1.04

 

Cash dividend per share

 

$

0.275

 

 

$

0.250

 

 

$

0.170

 

 

$

0.180

 

 

$

0.150

 

 

 

 

As of June 30,

 

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

2013

 

 

2012

 

 

2011

 

 

 

(in millions)

 

BALANCE SHEET DATA:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

$

8,428

 

 

$

5,415

 

 

$

6,659

 

 

$

9,626

 

 

$

12,680

 

Total assets

 

 

50,051

 

 

 

54,793

 

 

 

50,944

 

 

 

56,663

 

 

 

61,980

 

Borrowings

 

 

19,039

 

 

 

19,058

 

 

 

16,458

 

 

 

15,455

 

 

 

15,495

 

Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. stockholders' equity

 

 

17,220

 

 

 

17,418

 

 

 

16,998

 

 

 

24,684

 

 

 

30,069

 

 

 

(a)

See Notes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 and 22 to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. for information with respect to significant acquisitions, disposals, discontinued operations, accounting changes, impairment charges, restructuring charges and other transactions during fiscal 2015, 2014 and 2013.

(b)

In fiscal 2012, the Company recorded a goodwill impairment charge of $201 million as a result of an impairment assessment performed on the Digital Media Group reporting unit. Also, during fiscal 2012, the Company recorded non-cash impairment charges of approximately $2.6 billion ($2.2 billion, net of tax) related to discontinued operations consisting of a write-down in goodwill of approximately $1.3 billion and a write-down of the indefinite-lived intangible assets (primarily newspaper mastheads and distribution networks) of approximately $1.3 billion.

(c)

In fiscal 2011, the Company recorded a goodwill impairment charge of $168 million as a result of an impairment assessment performed on the Digital Media Group reporting unit and also recorded a restructuring charge of approximately $120 million resulting from an organizational restructuring to align resources more closely with the digital media properties.

 

 

 

34


 

ITEM 7.

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 (the “Exchange Act”), 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 Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., its directors or its officers with respect to, among other things, trends affecting Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc.’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 “Risk Factors” in Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K (the “Annual Report”). Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. 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 Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). This section should be read together with the audited Consolidated Financial Statements of Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. and related notes set forth elsewhere in this Annual Report.

INTRODUCTION

On June 28, 2013, Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. and its subsidiaries (formerly known as News Corporation) (together, “Twenty-First Century Fox” or the “Company”) completed the separation of its business into two independent publicly traded companies (the “Separation”) by distributing to its stockholders all of the outstanding shares of the new News Corporation (“News Corp”). The Company retained its interests in a global portfolio of media and entertainment assets spanning six continents. News Corp holds the Company’s former businesses including newspapers, information services and integrated marketing services, digital real estate services, book publishing, digital education and sports programming and pay-TV distribution in Australia. The Company completed the Separation by distributing to its stockholders one share of News Corp Class A common stock for every four shares of the Company’s Class A common stock held on June 21, 2013, and one share of News Corp Class B common stock for every four shares of the Company’s Class B common stock held on June 21, 2013. The Company’s stockholders received cash in lieu of fractional shares. Following the Separation, the Company does not beneficially own any shares of News Corp Class A common stock or News Corp Class B common stock.

Effective June 28, 2013, the Separation qualified for discontinued operations treatment in accordance with the requirements of Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 205-20, “Discontinued Operations” (“ASC 205-20”), and accordingly the Company deconsolidated News Corp’s balance sheet as of June 30, 2013, and included its results for the fiscal years presented as discontinued operations on the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Cash Flows. The Company has reflected the Separation as a distribution on the Consolidated Statement of Equity as of June 30, 2013.

Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations is intended to help provide an understanding of the Company’s 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 occurred either during the fiscal year ended June 30, (“fiscal”) 2015 or early fiscal 2016 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 fiscal 2015, 2014 and 2013. 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 impact the comparability of the results being analyzed.

35


 

·

Liquidity and Capital Resources - This section provides an analysis of the Company’s cash flows for fiscal 2015, 2014 and 2013, as well as a discussion of the Company’s outstanding debt and commitments, both firm and contingent, that existed as of June 30, 2015. 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.

·

Critical Accounting Policies - This section discusses accounting policies considered important to the Company’s financial condition and results of operations, and which require significant judgment and estimates on the part of management in application. In addition, Note 2 to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements of Twenty-First Century Fox summarizes the Company’s significant accounting policies, including the critical accounting policy discussion found in this section.

OVERVIEW OF THE COMPANY’S BUSINESS

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

·

Cable Network Programming, which principally consists of the production and licensing of programming distributed primarily through cable television systems, direct broadcast satellite operators, telecommunication companies and online video distributors in the U.S. and internationally.

·

Television, which principally consists of the broadcasting of network programming in the U.S. and the operation of 28 full power broadcast television stations, including 11 duopolies, in the U.S. (of these stations, 17 are affiliated with the FOX Broadcasting Company (“FOX”), 10 are affiliated with Master Distribution Service, Inc. (“MyNetworkTV”) and one is an independent station).

·

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.

·

Direct Broadcast Satellite Television, which consisted of the distribution of programming services via satellite, cable and broadband directly to subscribers in Italy, Germany and Austria. The Direct Broadcast Satellite Television (“DBS”) segment consisted entirely of the operations of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland AG (“Sky Deutschland”) (collectively the “DBS businesses”). On November 12, 2014, Twenty-First Century Fox completed the sale of Sky Italia and its 57% interest in Sky Deutschland to British Sky Broadcasting Group plc, which was subsequently renamed Sky plc (“Sky”) (See Note 3 – Acquisitions, Disposals and Other Transactions to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements of Twenty-First Century Fox). Sky is a pan-European digital television provider, which operates in Italy, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

·

Other, Corporate and Eliminations, which principally consists of corporate overhead and eliminations and other businesses.

Following the sale of the DBS businesses, the Company continues to report in five segments for comparative purposes, and there is no future activity in the DBS segment.

Cable Network Programming and Television

The Company’s cable networks, which target various demographics, derive a majority of their revenues from monthly affiliate fees received from multi-channel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”) based on the number of their subscribers. Affiliate fee revenues are net of the amortization of cable distribution investments (capitalized fees paid to U.S. MVPDs to typically facilitate the carriage of a domestic 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 U.S. Internationally, distribution technology varies region by region.

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.

36


 

U.S. law governing retransmission consent revenue provides a mechanism for the television stations owned by the Company to seek and obtain payment from MVPDs who carry the Company’s broadcast signals. Retransmission consent revenue consists of per subscriber-based compensatory fees paid to the Company by MVPDs that distribute the signals of the Company’s owned and operated television stations. The Company also receives compensation from independently-owned television stations that are affiliated with FOX and receive retransmission consent fees from MVPDs for their signals.

The most significant operating expenses of the Cable Network Programming segment and the Television segment are the acquisition and production expenses related to programming, marketing and promotional expenses and the expenses related to operating the technical facilities of the cable network or broadcaster. Marketing and promotional expenses relate to improving the market visibility and awareness of the cable network or broadcaster 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 profitability of U.S. national sports contracts and international sports rights agreements is based on the Company’s best estimates at June 30, 2015 of attributable revenues and costs; such estimates may change in the future and such changes may be significant. Should revenues decline from estimates applied at June 30, 2015, additional amortization of rights may be recorded. Should revenues improve as compared to estimated revenues, the Company may have improved results related to the contract, which may be recognized over the remaining contract term.

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, licensing through digital distribution platforms, 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 cable channels 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 digital distribution platforms), 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.

The Company enters into arrangements with third parties to co-produce certain 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 international. 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 third-party investors’ contractual interest in the profits or losses incurred on the film. Consistent with the requirements of FASB ASC 926, “Entertainment—Films” (“ASC 926”), the estimate of the third-party investor’s interest in profits or losses on the film is based on total estimated ultimate revenues.

37


 

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 expenses.

Direct Broadcast Satellite Television

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 services, customer service and price are the key elements for gaining and maintaining market share.

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.

Other, Corporate and Eliminations

The Other, Corporate and Eliminations segment consists primarily of corporate overhead and eliminations and other businesses.

Other Business Developments

Cable Network Programming

In February 2015, the Company acquired trueX media inc. (“true[X]”), a video advertising company specializing in consumer engagement and on-demand marketing campaigns, for an estimated total purchase price of approximately $175 million in cash including deferred payments which are subject to the achievement of service and performance conditions.

In February 2015, the Company entered into an agreement to acquire the broadcast business of MAA Television Network Limited (“MAA TV”), an entity in India that broadcasts and operates Telugu language entertainment channels, for approximately $375 million in cash. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close before December 31, 2015.

Television

In October 2014, the Company acquired two San Francisco-Bay area television stations, KTVU-TV FOX 2 and KICU-TV 36, with a fair value of approximately $220 million from Cox Media Group in exchange for the Company’s FOX affiliated stations WHBQ-TV FOX 13 and WFXT-TV FOX 25, located in the Memphis and Boston markets, respectively.

Filmed Entertainment

The Company and funds managed by Apollo Global Management, LLC (“Apollo”) formed Endemol Shine Group in December 2014 to which the Company contributed its interests in Shine Group and cash, comprising an aggregate carrying value of approximately $830 million. The joint venture, a global multi-platform content provider, is comprised of Shine Group, Endemol and CORE Media Group. The Company and Apollo have an equal ownership interest in the joint venture. As a result of the transaction, Shine Group ceased to be a consolidated subsidiary of the Company. The Company recorded a gain of $58 million on this transaction which was included in Other, net in the Consolidated Statements of Operations for fiscal 2015. The Company’s investment in the Endemol Shine Group is accounted for using the equity method of accounting.

38


 

Direct Broadcast Satellite Television

On November 12, 2014, the Company sold its 100% and 57% ownership stakes in Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland, respectively, to Sky for approximately $8.8 billion in value comprised of approximately $8.2 billion in cash received, net of $650 million of cash paid to acquire Sky’s 21% interest in NGC Network International LLC and NGC Network Latin America LLC (collectively “NGC International”), increasing the Company’s ownership stake in NGC International to 73%. In connection with this transaction, the Company participated in Sky’s equity offering in July 2014 by purchasing additional shares in Sky for approximately $900 million and maintained the Company’s 39% ownership interest. As a result of the transaction, Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland ceased to be consolidated subsidiaries of the Company. The Company recorded a pre-tax gain of approximately $5.0 billion on this transaction, which was included in Other, net in the Consolidated Statements of Operations for fiscal 2015.

 

39


 

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

Results of Operations—Fiscal 2015 versus Fiscal 2014

The following tables set forth the Company’s operating results for fiscal 2015, as compared to fiscal 2014, including presentation of Revenues by component excluding the DBS segment and related intersegment eliminations.

 

 

 

For the years ended June 30,

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

% Change

 

 

(in millions, except %)

Revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Affiliate fees

 

$

10,353

 

 

$

8,984

 

 

 

15

 

%

 

Subscription

 

 

1,964

 

 

 

5,467

 

 

 

(64

)

%

 

Advertising

 

 

7,609

 

 

 

8,218

 

 

 

(7

)

%

 

Content

 

 

8,677

 

 

 

8,596

 

 

 

1

 

%

 

Other

 

 

384

 

 

 

602

 

 

 

(36

)

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total revenues

 

 

28,987

 

 

 

31,867

 

 

 

(9

)

%

 

Operating expenses

 

 

(18,561

)

 

 

(21,108

)

 

 

(12

)

%

 

Selling, general and administrative

 

 

(3,784

)

 

 

(4,129

)

 

 

(8

)

%

 

Depreciation and amortization

 

 

(736

)

 

 

(1,142

)

 

 

(36

)

%

 

Equity earnings of affiliates

 

 

904

 

 

 

622

 

 

 

45

 

%

 

Interest expense, net

 

 

(1,198

)

 

 

(1,121

)

 

 

7

 

%

 

Interest income

 

 

39

 

 

 

26

 

 

 

50

 

%

 

Other, net

 

 

4,196

 

 

 

174

 

 

**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income from continuing operations before income tax expense

 

 

9,847

 

 

 

5,189

 

 

 

90

 

%

 

Income tax expense

 

 

(1,243

)

 

 

(1,272

)

 

 

(2

)

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Income from continuing operations

 

 

8,604

 

 

 

3,917

 

 

**

 

 

 

(Loss) income from discontinued operations, net of tax

 

 

(67

)

 

 

729

 

 

**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income

 

 

8,537

 

 

 

4,646

 

 

 

84

 

%

 

Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests

 

 

(231

)

 

 

(132

)

 

 

75

 

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income attributable to Twenty-First Century Fox stockholders

 

$

8,306

 

 

$

4,514

 

 

 

84

 

%

 

 

 

 

For the years ended June 30,

 

 

2015

 

 

2014

 

 

% Change

 

 

(in millions, except %)

Revenues (excluding Direct Broadcast Satellite Television):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Affiliate fees

 

$

10,396

 

 

$

9,108

 

 

 

14

 

%

 

Advertising

 

 

7,503

 

 

 

7,870

 

 

 

(5

)

%

 

Content

 

 

8,700

 

 

 

8,665

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

Other

 

 

353

 

 

 

419

 

 

 

(16

)

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adjusted Total Revenues

 

 

26,952

 

 

 

26,062

 

 

 

3

 

%

 

Direct Broadcast Satellite Television, net of eliminations

 

 

2,035

 

 

 

5,805

 

 

 

(65

)

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total revenues

 

$

28,987

 

 

$

31,867

 

 

 

(9

)

%

 

 

 

**

not meaningful

40


 

Overview The Company’s revenues decreased 9% for fiscal 2015, as compared to fiscal 2014. The changes in revenues were primarily due to the effect of the sale of the DBS businesses in November 2014. Excluding the activity of the DBS businesses, the Company’s revenues increased 3% for fiscal 2015, as compared to fiscal 2014, primarily due to higher affiliate fee revenues partially offset by a decrease in advertising revenues. The increase in affiliate fee revenues was primarily attributable to higher average rates per subscriber across most channels and the effect of the acquisition of the majority interest in the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network (the “YES Network”) in February 2014. The decrease in advertising revenues for fiscal 2015 was primarily due to the comparative effect of the broadcast of Super Bowl XLVIII in February 2014 and lower general entertainment primetime ratings at FOX. The strengthening of the U.S. dollar against local currencies resulted in a revenue decrease of approximately $625 million for fiscal 2015, as compared to fiscal 2014.

Operating expenses decreased 12% for fiscal 2015, as compared to fiscal 2014, primarily due to the sale of the DBS businesses in November 2014 partially offset by increases at the Cable Network Programming segment. During fiscal 2015, operating expenses at the Cable Network Programming segment increased by approximately $1 billion primarily due to higher programming costs including STAR Sports’ broadcast of the International Cricket Council (“ICC”) Cricket World Cup matches, Fox Sports 1’s (“FS1”) inaugural broadcast of Major League Baseball (“MLB”) regular season and playoff games and the continued investment in new shows at FX Networks suite of channels (“FX”).

Selling, general and administrative expenses decreased 8% for fiscal 2015, as compared to fiscal 2014, primarily due to the sale of the DBS businesses in November 2014 partially offset by increases at the Cable Network Programming segment of approximately $255 million. The increase at the Cable Network Programming segment for fiscal 2015 was primarily due to transaction losses on foreign currency exchange movements at FOX International Channels (“FIC”), the continued investment in STAR’s sports and general entertainment channels and the effect of the acquisitions of the majority interest in the YES Network in February 2014 and true[X] in February 2015.

Depreciation and amortization, including the amortization of acquired identifiable intangible assets, decreased 36% for fiscal 2015, as compared to fiscal 2014, primarily due to lower depreciation and amortization as a result of the sale of the DBS businesses. These decreases were partially offset by the amortization of acquired identifiable intangible assets resulting from the acquisition of the majority interest in the YES Network in February 2014.

Equity earnings of affiliates Equity earnings of affiliates increased $282 million for fiscal 2015, as compared to fiscal 2014. The increase was due to higher results at Sky which included the Company’s proportionate share of approximately $790 million of gains related to the sale of Sky’s investments in Sky Betting & Gaming, ITV plc and NGC International. Partially offsetting these increases were the results at Endemol Shine Group, an affiliate from December 2014 (See Note 3 – Acquisitions, Disposals and Other Transactions to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements of Twenty-First Century Fox), lower results at Hulu LLC and the effect of the acquisition of the majority interest in the YES Network in February 2014.