Sky Italia passes five million subs

News Corp reported an earnings surge in its fiscal first quarter financial results, helped by growth at the company’s international pay TV networks.

The company saw its revenue grow by 7% to US$7.96 billion (€5.8 billion) and reported an earnings rise of 45% in its direct broadcast division, which houses the company’s Italian pay TV platform Sky Italia.

The Italian pay operator saw an increase in subscribers of 34,000 in the quarter, which took it over the five million subscriber mark for the first time. Sky Italia reported operating income of US$119 million, an increase of 45% from last year, primarily through lower programming costs.

News Corp saw operating income across its cable network business increase by 18% and reported a 24% rise in affiliate fees for its international channels, helped by growth in Latin America through Fox International Channels.

“Our cable business, both domestic and overseas, just gets stronger,” News Corp president and chief operating officer Chase Carey told analysts on a conference call. “While we continue to remain mindful of the persistent economic uncertainty in many parts of the globe, I am proud of News Corporation’s achievements over the past quarters,” he added.