“We’ve made a determination today that we are going to stay the course. Our focus in the short-term is to make sure we continue to make that business as strong as it can be,” Carey told an investor call following News Corp’s results for the December quarter. “There are things we could do to capture more value out of the business, but we want to wrestle with those carefully.”
News Corp’s bid to take control of BSkyB was derailed in the wake of the UK newspaper phone-hacking scandal.
On the call, News Corp executive James Murdoch brushed off the possibility of the renewed hostilities between the Murdoch family and John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Global, following the purchase of UK cablenet Virgin Media.
“Across Europe, particularly in Ireland and in Germany, we compete with as well as work with Liberty Global. In Germany Liberty Global, through Unity and KBW, distribute a lot of our programming for Sky Deutschland, and in Ireland, Sky and Liberty have been competing for some time”.
In Italy, Sky Italia reported a quarterly loss of $20 million from the $6 million profit of 2011. The DTH operation has been hit by an increase in rights costs of $30 million across the UEFA Champions and Europa League.
Although corresponding revenue was in line it had been hit by a subscriber fall of 28,000, taking the total down to 4.83 million.
“If we look at that business the one thing I feel good about is that if we look at that business there’s a pretty clear path to get that business to where it should be,” said Carey. “You’ve got programme contracts that end over the next 12 months and some we won’t renew and some we’ll modify.”