As usual, most of 21st Century Fox's quarterly profit came from its cable networks division, which includes mature channels like FX and newer arrivals like Fox Sports 1.
According to CNBC, which broke the news, Disney is hoping to acquire parts of Fox's movie and TV businesses and a portion of its media assets, but its news broadcasting division and sports arm will not be included in any deal that moves forward to avoid falling afoul of antitrust regulations.
In a submission made to the CMA last month but published by the regulator on Tuesday, Sky said it "would likely be prompted to review" its position "in the event that the continued provision of Sky News in its current form unduly impeded merger and/or other corporate opportunities available in relation to Sky's broader business". "Fox has the required scale".
Revenue was up 8 per cent for the quarter to $US7 billion ($A9.8 billion), while operating income hit $US1.79 billion ($A2.51 billion). For its fiscal first quarter, Fox had net income of $855 million, or 46 cents a share, compared with $821 million, or 44 cents a share, a year earlier.
"We see a real trajectory of good performance".
But the Murdochs said they remain committed to growing their assets, noting that they are already seeing benefits in streaming video-on-demand services. "We will continue to do so". After 21st Century Fox failed to buy Time Warner in 2014, some analysts have been skeptical that it is big enough to compete with giants like Comcast and AT&T - thus necessitating a sale.
The company said it expects its $15-billion takeover of the stake in European TV service Sky it does not own will close by June 2018.
Fox said it has garnered nearly 3 million new subscribers for its cable channels from the new breed of digital MVPDs including Hulu (in which Fox has a stake) and YouTube. And although NFL ratings are down as players protesting during the national anthem has dominated the news cycle and driven some fans away for the sport for political reasons, Fox - one of the league's primary broadcasters - hasn't suffered too much, with its broadcast revenue for the three months ended September 30 topping its performance for the same time a year ago. Operating income, though, fell significantly, from $191 million to $122 million in the segment. Higher rights fees for National Football League games and college football also kicked in during the quarter, driving up costs.