News Corp has revealed the dramatic impact live sport cancellations had on its streaming service Kayo during the month of April.
During the company’s most recent financial results it was revealed that as of March 31 2020 there were 440,000 Kayo subscribers, of which 408,000 were paying subscribers.
However, the widespread cancellation of live sport saw a sharp drop off in subscribers during the month of April.
As of May 2 2020, there were over 272,000 paying subscriber, marking a drop of roughly 136,000.
In comparison, Kayo revealed last year it had 331,000 paying customers as of June 30 2019.
The streaming service will be hoping the return of NRL on May 28 results in an uptick in subscribers, with other codes expected to return later this year.
For Foxtel, total subscribers as of March 31 2020 was 2.933 million, an increase of one per cent compared to the prior year, although this was primarily due to subscriber growth at Kayo.
Foxtel Now had 317,000 paying customers as of March 31, down from 348,000 in the prior year.
Foxtel is expected to officially launch its new streaming service Binge in the coming months, with hopes it can offset some of Kayo’s lost revenue.
Overall, the company reported revenue of $US2.27 billion ($3.5 billion) for the three months to March, down eight per cent from the previous year.
With the company bracing for further financial strain in the next quarter, the News Corp executive team will be taking significant pay cuts, led by executive chairman Rupert Murdoch.
“Clearly the pandemic will have an impact on our results in the fourth quarter, but all of our businesses are embarking on cost-cutting programs intended to deal with short-term need but also to ensure that the Company is well-equipped to prosper in a decidedly different business environment after the crisis abates,” said News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson.
“Pay reductions will be led by our executive chairman, Rupert Murdoch, who is voluntarily forgoing his entire cash bonus for the current fiscal year, and as chief executive I will forgo 75 per cent of my annual cash bonus. The collective cuts in bonuses and other cost initiatives will have a positive impact on profitability and our cash position.”
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