News Corp profits surge on cable TV

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has announced a massive surge in quarterly profit, driven by growth in its cable television operations.

News Corp's September quarter profit beat analysts' expectations, coming in at $US2.23 billion ($2.1 billion).

The result was nearly triple a $707 million profit in the same period last year.

Operating income nearly halved at News Corp's publishing arm, due to losses in its Australian and US newspaper businesses.

News Corp's chief operating officer Chase Carey says the company has plans in place to improve its revenue in Australia.

"In Australian publishing, the decline in display and classified advertising has clearly hit these businesses," he said.

"As discussed previously, we have major plans already being undertaken by our management team to address these shifts.

Most of our other businesses were pretty much on target." Mr Carey says US advertising revenue was boosted somewhat by the election campaign.

"The advertising markets have also been mixed - political spending's exceeded expectations, while the base local ad markets were a bit softer in the first quarter, with trends down in the mid-single digits, excluding political ads," he added.

New Corp also noted that the declines in the US and Australia were partially offset by increased contributions from the company's UK newspapers, which benefitted from the launch of the Sunday edition of The Sun, replacing the now defunct News of the World which was at the centre of the phone hacking scandal.

News Corp says the results include more than $64 million in costs related to ongoing investigations into the phone hacking scandal at its UK newspapers.

The media company raised $1.3 billion for offloading its 49 per cent in NDS to the network services company Cisco in July.

Early this year, NDS was accused of hacking encryption codes of News Corp's pay-TV rivals more than a decade ago.

Rupert Murdoch slammed those claims as "lies and libel".

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