U.S. Markets open in 9 hrs 10 mins

21st Century Fox to tread carefully with streaming video

By Jennifer Saba and Lehar Maan

(Reuters) - Twenty-First Century Fox Inc Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said the company is being "disciplined" about its options when considering streaming video offerings that bypass cable and satellite subscriptions.

"We believe the traditional bundle offers great value to consumers and will be the primary consumer package for years to come," Carey said on Tuesday during an third quarter earnings call with analysts. He was referring to traditional cable packages that "bundle" together several channels for one price.

Consumers have drastically changed the way they watch television, opting for on-demand content offered by Netflix Inc or Amazon.com Inc that can be viewed on a array of devices from TVs to smartphones to tablets.

The shift has prompted several big media companies, notably Time Warner Inc and CBS Corp, to announce products that stream TV programs and movies over the Internet without a cable subscription.

Carey said on the call that changing viewing habits "also means we'll be able to engage the consumer more directly, to create more exciting and valuable experiences.

"We are not going to be reactive," he added. "We want to make sure we are proactive about forming our own judgements about what kinds of offerings that are additive to our business that exist today."

Also on Tuesday, Fox reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit, helped by growth in its cable network and film studio businesses.

The company reported a 12 percent rise in revenue to $7.89 million (4.93 million pounds), which beat analysts' average estimate of $6.25 billion, largely driven by the box-office success of "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" and "The Fault in Our Stars."

Fox shares rose 1.6 percent to $33.85 after the bell on Tuesday.

Revenue from cable networks, the company's largest business, rose 15 percent to $3.23 billion, while filmed entertainment revenue was up 17 percent at $2.48 billion.

Revenue at the television division was flat at $1.05 billion, held back by declining advertising revenue tied to weak ratings.

Net income attributable to shareholders fell to $1.04 billion, or 47 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $1.26 billion, or 54 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2013.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 39 cents per share. Analysts had expected a profit of 36 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters /B/E/S.


(Reporting by Lehar Maan and Sai Sachin R in Bangalore.; Editing by Joyjeet Das, Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Andre Grenon)