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Hulu drags down ABC operating income

November 09, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • Losses at Hulu dragged down earnings for ABC last quarter.
Losses at Hulu dragged down earnings for ABC last quarter. (Hulu )

Digital media didn't do any favors for ABC last quarter.

Losses from Walt Disney Co.'s one-third ownership of Hulu resulted in a $9 million decrease in operating income at the media giant's broadcasting division, which consists of the ABC Network, its production studio and local channels, compared to the same period a year ago.

On a conference call with analysts this week, Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said the decline in its fiscal fourth quarter earnings was due entirely to higher programming and marketing costs at online TV service Hulu, which were partially offset by higher advertising and subscription revenues.

"If you back Hulu out, the broadcasting numbers would have been slightly positive," Rasulo explained. "[But] it was not a real driver for the quarter."

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