Hacking scandal won’t impact News Corp’s credit rating

The ongoing scandal surrounding alleged phone-hacking by a News Corp-owned UK newspaper will not impact the media giant’s overall credit rating. Moody’s said that the minor contribution made by the UK newspaper division to the company as a whole and the media giant’s diverse range of interests and low debt load should ensure its credit rating remains the same.

A significant majority of the company’s revenue and EBITDA are generated by the company’s cable networks, film studio, broadcasting operations and its satellite TV operations, which are managed separately from the company’s UK newspaper operations, Moody’s noted.

“It is likely that advertisers will remain attracted to the company’s stable cable and broadcast network viewership, that the general public will continue to see the company’s films and television shows on an uninterrupted basis, and that the bulk of the company’s businesses will not be influenced by the negative media headlines about the company,” said Neil Begley, a Moody’s senior vice-president.

News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch has had his position questioned by some shareholders, but Moody’s says that any benefit from introducing a new leadership structure would likely be outweighed by the uncertainty that it would cause.

“Any change in governance from this perspective would cause uncertainty and could potentially outweigh for bondholders any perceived benefits of new leadership resulting from the scandal,” Begley said.

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