American Idol, X Factor Hurting News Corp Profit Forcast

Bloomberg news reports that American Idol and X Factor’s falling ratings are hurting FOX parent company, News Corp.’s bottom line:

News Corp., Rupert Murdoch’s media company, fell the most in eight months in Sydney trading after cutting its profit forecast because of declining ratings for shows such as “American Idol” and “X Factor.”

Operating income will grow by a “mid- to high-single- digit” percentage for the fiscal year ending in June, the company said on a conference call late yesterday, down from an earlier forecast of growth that could exceed 10 percent. Fewer viewers leads to lower advertising sales for some of the top programs on the News Corp.-owned Fox network in the U.S.

“We have had a very disappointing year ratings-wise,” Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said on the conference call. “We’re working to improve them.”

News Corp. dropped 1.9 percent to $27.69 at 9:36 a.m. in New York. Shares fell 3.2 percent to A$26.60 at the close in Sydney, the biggest slide since June 4, with volume more than triple the three-month average.

The ratings slump puts a damper on Murdoch’s plans to split the publishing division from FOX Film studiso and FOX Cable and broadcast networks. Falling ad dollars and circulation within the publishing wing of the company has been dragging down the growth of News Corp.’s entertainment interests.

Via Bloomberg

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  • fantoo1

    Having both of the shows on is what is hurting. I hate to say it, but they should give X Factor the ax if they don’t want to hurt even more.

  • Li Wright

    Well we saw this coming didn’t we?  They’re both copycats of the same show.  Why would you put the XF on BEFORE IDOL?  At best XF is a summer show.  Back to back, same shows practically, 4 judges….trouble!

  • Eilonwy

    Dear NewsCorp:

    It’s time to dump XFUSA and replace it with an animated series about a snarky family of cats from the deep South who move to Hollywood to pursue careers in the entertainment industry.

    Animation is cheaper than live programming. People love cats. People love celebrities. People love snark. People love to see homespun rural values go head-to-head with Hollywood glitz. You can even have a song every week, if you want.

    Guaranteed hit. Take it to the bank. Just don’t put Simon Cowell in charge, as he really doesn’t “get” American humor.

    Hugs and hisses,

  • MalwareDie

    Get rid of Fremantle Media. Problem solved.

  • Mateja Praznik

    So, let’s say FOX drops XF USA. Would any other major network consider to put X Factor on their program and run it in the spring? Would FOX prefer X Factor on another network in spring? Maybe they TV bosses should just run seasons of Idol, X Factor and The Voice at the same time and let the ratings got to hell.

  • Hazehel

    Well we saw this coming didn’t we?

    Yup, we discussed how X-Factor could have a bad impact on Idol (and Idol on X-Factor) long before X-Factor started, if Fox execs didn’t see that is what would happen when they scheduled two similar shows in a year, then they are obviously overpaid morons.  Of course, Fox expected X-Factor to do better than it did, and probably expected X-Factor to replace Idol within a couple of years of it starting, but the relative failure of X-Factor put paid to that idea. 

  • elliegrll

    This wouldn’t address the fact that even without the X Factor, the fall ratings for Fox were horrible.  The X Factor was the only show for the network that was consistently in the top 25.  Sometimes Family Guy and the Simpsons made an appearance, but ratings for the entire network were bad.

  • irockhard

    Well that all depends if another network picks XFUS up after FOX axes them. Honestly I don’t see any major network doing so, if they find another broadcaster it’ll be some cable network.

    And The Voice is on NBC not FOX.

  • Sassycatz

    Well, first of all, as we’ve discussed countless times, American Idol is a mature show. Usually mature shows lose ratings and then stabilize, if they have a dedicated fan base. They rarely leap back to the ratings they had when they were fresh, new hits. However, FOX didn’t help things by:

    1) moving the show to Wed/Thurs from Tues/Wed. Thursdays are much more competitive and moving a mature show that’s doing well in its time slot — where people expect it to be — to a more competitive night is only asking for a ratings slip;

    2) programming a copycat show on your roster. I know Simon Cowell (and his humongous ego) had to be contained, so you agreed to broadcast his program in order to control the damage, but seriously, it’s done. His need to take down Simon Fuller and be the king of talent contests, worldwide, has basically helped take the luster out of Idol. You controlled the damage the best you could, but now that his bubble’s been burst, let him go before things get worse;

    3) although this hasn’t been an issue lately, stop talking down your own show and previous winners. In the past, I cringed when you would basically dismiss previous seasons and make derisive comments towards past contestants/winners you didn’t like, so it’s nice that you’ve stopped that. However, you created the toxic attitude that now permeates and is carried on by fans and the media that covers you. This feeds the perception that the show isn’t the water cooler show that it used to be. If you’re not excited about the show and all its contestants, no one else will be either.

    4) Personnel changes are fine, but a) not everyone can produce this show, like Ken Warwick, for instance — he can’t. So, don’t ever let him be in charge again and b) not every big deal diva/celebrity is talented outside of their own specialty. So, don’t think that being a top recording artist or talk show host or songwriter naturally makes someone a great singing show *judge.* Judging requires knowledge about music and singing but it also requires facility, humor, wit and intelligence.

  • curly_yenta

    This should put a plug in those claims that Idol’s weekly ratings plumment is “not terrible” or “could be worse” or “at least it’s still #1”.  Each tenth of point drop makes Fox and it’s parent company lose money.  At this point, they should start planning a massive tribute special to it’s 12 year history and call it day.  Go out before the show turns into a joke – and after seeing last night’s train wreck, it’s coming awfully close to turning into just that.

  • ST7

    i cant believe idol last night only got 14 million – that just seems so low…didnt voice get like 11?  dont shows like big bang theory and ncis get more viewers?

  • Mateja Praznik

    Of course, Fox expected X-Factor to do better than it did, and probably
    expected X-Factor to replace Idol within a couple of years of it
    starting, but the relative failure of X-Factor put paid to that idea.

    Well, I briefly checked Wikipedia pages for all three singing TV show franchises and it looks to me that Idol franchise is in the worst shape of the three. X Factor did replace Idol in many countries around the world and now The Voice franchise is blowing up.

    I think what is happening is that Idol was once so big in the US that no new show can reach those heights. Also, I think because the show is called AMERICAN Idol and it’s been around for so long, the Americans see it as some kind of an institution, not just a reality talent show. I think this is what is preventing the other two shows from taking over.

    Let’s not forget that Simon Cowell created X Factor after Pop Idol went on a hiatus in the UK after the second season and Fuller & Co. completely focused on their biggest success, American Idol. Fuller and co. are lucky that Idol is still going strong in the US because, as I pointed out, the franchise is overall pretty weak internationally.

  • chillj

    Even better, get rid of Newscorp.

  • chillj

    Rupert Murdoch is having a rough year.  Couldn’t happen to a guy more deserving.

  • Hazehel

    Let’s not forget that Simon Cowell created X Factor after Pop Idol went on a hiatus in the UK

    That wasn’t what happened.  Simon Cowell basically schemed to have Idol replaced.  Pop Idol was a show made by Granada TV, and Simon went to Thames TV to make the show, and then Simon Fuller sued once X-Factor went on air.   

    And X-Factor wasn’t more popular than Pop Idol when it first started, it was in fact less popular.  It took a few years before X-Factor became the rating monster it is. 

  • Mateja Praznik

     What I know is that Idol had two seasons in the UK. The first one was really popular, but the second wasn’t and the winner didn’t do well. I don’t think Simon Cowell just walked up to the ITV bosses and asked them to cancel Pop Idol and air X Factor instead. I’ve read that it was decided to give Pop Idol a break (maybe a couple of years) and during that time Simon convinced ITV to pick up X Factor. And once X Factor was on the air, there was no point for ITV to bring Pop Idol back.

    I know that X Factor wasn’t that big when it started in the UK.

  • Hazehel

    The first one was really popular, but the second wasn’t 

    That’s not quite true.  The ratings for the two seasons weren’t that different apart from the finale (Season 1 finale was over 13 million and Season 2 finale was ~11 million.)  You can blame it on the two finalists (a pity because I actually like the winner Michelle McManus but I can’t remember who the other person is at all), but the season as whole is not that different from Season 1 rating-wise.

  • Kesia Monteith

    Wow! Excellent post :)

  • Mateja Praznik

    I remember reading an article about this. Supposedly people were going crazy for Will Young and Gareth Gates and season 2 just didn’t measure up to that fanaticism. In any case, what I understood was that whoever was behind Idol and ITV didn’t decide to move on to season 3 immediately. And then Simon Cowell made ITV pick up X Factor.

  • Hazehel

    in any case, what I understood was that whoever was behind Idol and ITV didn’t decide to move on to season 3 immediately. 

    I don’t think it was anything more than what we would hear for X-Factor after a season is over (like speculating whether there would be a next season).  Certainly from the legal action by Simon Fuller it did not look like he was considering abandoning Pop Idol in the UK, he actually seemed pissed that X-Factor took some of the production team away from Pop Idol.

  • Mateja Praznik

     Well, it looks like ITV did put Pop Idol on a hiatus:

    After the second series of Pop Idol in 2003, ITV put the show on indefinite hiatus. This was because judge and music executive Simon Cowell wished to produce his own show, The X Factor, which he and his record label (Syco) held the rights to. In 2005, Pop Idol creator Simon Fuller filed a lawsuit against The X Factor producers claiming that the format was copied from his own show. The case was eventually settled out of court.

    At the beginning of the article it also says Pop Idol was cancelled in February 2004 and replaced later that year by the X Factor.

  • Hazehel

    At the beginning of the article it also says Pop Idol was cancelled in February 2004 and replaced later that year by the X Factor.

    You do know that you shouldn’t take wiki word for it when there is no source for the claim?  Anyone can write anything in wiki, the fact the putting on hiatus and cancelled are completely two different things should alert you to that.   Also note that X-Factor was not announced until April 2004, it would be ridiculous for ITV to cancel Pop Idol in February 2004, one of its most popular shows.   Note also that the page it was put on hiatus because Simon Cowell wanted to do his own show.

    I only read a few sentences, even then I can see errors, for example, Simon Fuller sue in September 2004, not 2005 (here –   ) as stated in the article.  A lot of wiki articles are rubbish.

  • LeahKittyS

    Preach, brother (or sister). That’s what Jennifer Hudson is saying, too, and I as well. I can’t tell you how happy I was to see this headline; now maybe FOX will do something.

  • irockhard

    XF is losing ratings and hence relevance in the UK. It just had it’s 9th season, it’s past it’s peak and is also in decline – it’s become a “mature show” there. XFUS on the other hand is clearly never gonna get off the ground and S3 will be it’s last now that FOX can no longer carry it’s burden. I think The Voice is going to eventually take over as the top singing show, in the US, UK and everywhere else. But it’ll never make the same cultural impact Idol and other shows before it did, cause the concept is no longer fresh.

  • Hazehel

    Pop Idol was cancelled in February 2004

    I tried to look to news links that say it was cancelled in February 2004, but no luck at all, these are the nearest I can find –  

    A judge on Pop Idol said in February 2004 that Pop Idol should be scrapped if Simon Cowell quit the show to work on American Idol (but no mention of the show being cancelled) – 

    One of the judges (Pete Waterman who was very unhappy that McManus won) said in March 2004 that he was taking a break from Pop Idol, again no mention of the show being cancelled –

    Simon Cowell launched X-Factor (i.e. after the coup against Pop Idol), and says Pop Idol “is being given “a rest”.” (still no mentioned of “cancelled”, but you can called it a “hiatus” if you like) –

    I think we can safely said that the idea Pop Idol was cancelled in February 2004 was not based on any news report at that time, and may be just the imagination of someone.

  • Katie’s Uvula

    Get rid of Idol and keep XF. Idol is like that old dog living past its prime (*cough* Randy Jackson) and needs to be put down.

    I grew up with Idol but come on now, 12 seasons?? If you’re gonna have a singing competition then keep X Factor which at least doesn’t age discriminate anyone over 28 years old to join and allows groups to compete as well as kids younger than 15.

    The Voice is boring to me because it doesn’t have drama or the sucky joke contestants that Idol and XF.

  • shell29

    Canceling X Factor isn’t going to help Idol’s ratings. Idol’s days of being the ratings juggernaut are beginning to wind down mainly due to the age of the show IMO.

  • quickjessie

    Well old Rupie’s 2 for 2, since the “News” (I use that term VERY loosely) division is losing not only ratings but viewers by the bucketful.  That’s what happens when you peddle garbage to senile old people – the garbage starts to stink and your old people start moving on.  Yes Rupert, your audience is literally dying off.

  • blackberryharvest

    They won’t end a show that got a 6.0 in the demo for its premiere. And people have been calling the show a joke since day 1. Nothing new.

  • mmb

    Not everything that is super popular in other parts of the world is popular in the US; and vice versa.  Soccer is huge everywhere but America; we Americans prefer football and baseball.  X factor may be/have been a monster in other parts of the world, but the US audience has not warmed to it.  Plain and simple.  There are a boatload of reasons for that.  X FActor is never going to “take over” for Idol here. The US prefers Idol.  Its had a good long run here. And yup, Idol is somewhat of an American institution at this point, like American Bandstand was. 

  • elliegrll

    It’s highly unlikely that Fox will drop the higher rated show, the one that is bringing them in more money than the X Factor and every other regularly scheduled show on their network.

    The funny thing about your plan is that it is the X Factor that is hurting American Idol.  AI’s ratings would have fallen over the past two years, but the drop wouldn’t be this steep if Fox wasn’t airing the X Factor too.  It’s not just that the XF is stealing AI’s audience, it’s that for most viewers they are not going to separate the two shows, so if they don’t like the XF that will have an impact on whether or not they tune into AI.

  • Shoriagirl

    Actually, American Idol advertisement rates are not much higher than some other Fox shows.
    Idol Wednesday – $340,825
    Idol Thursday – $296,002
    New Girl – $320,940
    Simpsons – $286,131

    With ratings like these the rates will fall even more.

  • elliegrll

    These lower rates just happened this year, and don’t take into account that the rates have usually gone up towards the end of the season.  Before this year, AI was the highest rated regularly scheduled show on Fox and on television period.  

    Also, based on New Girl’s ratings this season, its rates are going to go down next year too.  It’s been averaging between a 2.2-2.6 in the demo, which is a lot less than what AI is doing.  

  • irockhard

    LOL in the end it’s about money, Idol makes FOX money, XF doesn’t so XF will get the axe.

  • Cathy Knott

    I don’t think that X Factor has anything to do with American Idol’s ratings.  I think that American Idol has become stale and all Nigel’s drama is not helping the show at all. The show has become about the judges not the contestants.

  • blackberryharvest

    It had a lot to do with the steep decline that Season 11 saw. The X Factor saw a steep decline in Season 2 also.

  • waitingforthe1

    maybe instead of cancelling Idol outright they should give it a break for a season or two.  Let Season 12 be the send off and then say “RETURNING IN 2015”.   Go away so people can miss you and then only do every other year. 

  • Steve Long

    Idol continues to lose viewers because the music industry is saturated.

  • April Dean

    There are too many overpaid worthless judges.  People watch for the contestants not the judges.  When the judges talk is bathroom break time,  Mute the TV or fast forward.  Why pay somebody millions of dollars for that?

  • Kariann Hart

    Maybe some of the high-paid judges weren’t worth what they have been paid?  I wouldn’t miss X-Factor if it got canceled.  I can barely remember the winners.

    The US prefers Idol. Its had a good long run here. And yup, Idol is somewhat of an American institution at this point, like American Bandstand was.

    Yes, American Idol has provided those moments that we will fondingly look back on.  I’d like a few more seasons.  It would be great if they could find a new personality judge in their 30’s or 40’s that knew music and could inspire contestants.  A big- name celebrity isn’t always needed for every position on the panel.