Dominion settlement sends Fox into loss for the quarter

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The high-profile defamation lawsuit brought against Fox’s conservative cable channel erased any profit at the company for the fiscal third quarter.

Fox agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million earlier in 2023.

All told the company estimates the lawsuit will cost it around $850 million after the settlement payment and other related expenses. In the same quarter last year, Fox reported a profit of $283 million.

The company saw a significant influx in advertising revenue for Q3 2023 ā€” over 40% ā€” thanks to big spending for ads during Super Bowl LVII, which the Fox broadcast network aired this year.

Broadcast TV operations increased by over 35%, with advertising revenue up over 60% thanks in large part to the Super Bowl.

Overall the cable division, which includes the division that was sued by Dominion, slipped in other key financials. Overall revenue was down to $1.57 billion from $1.58 billion the year before.

Cable advertising revenue was down around $20 million and retransmission fee revenue was essentially flat, with any increases offset by subscriber shrink.

Meanwhile, Fox is still facing a defamation case from Smartmatic over similar claims for defamation over false claims its hosts made about the 2020 election.

Fox says it plans to move forward with that case going to trial, noting that it opted to settle the Dominion suit after a judge made key rulings that limited its attorneys options. It also indicated that it remains confident that it will prevail with the case, which likely won’t see the inside of a courtroom until 2025.