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Sky Italia reports tough quarter

Italian DTH operator Sky Italia generated a first quarter operating income of US$23 million (€18 million), down from $119 million reported in the same period a year ago. 

Owner News Corp said higher programming expenses drove the decline, including almost US$70 million of rights costs associated with the broadcast of the Olympics. The operator also experienced a net reduction of approximately 40,000 subscribers during the quarter, bringing its total subscriber base to 4.86 million.

Reporting its first quarter results, News Corp said it had recorded a gain of approximately US$1.4 billion on the sale of TV technology company NDS to Cisco for US$1.9 billion in July.

News Corps’ Fox International Channels business was adversely affected by the strengthening of the US dollar despite reporting strong operating growth. Affiliate revenue from its international business was up 25%, News Corp said.