Fox Corp released a net loss of $50 million in the first quarter of 2023. The network notes this is largely a result of charges and expenses surrounding a defamation lawsuit between Fox and Dominion Voting Systems.
Dominion claimed Fox Corp ruined its business by broadcasting numerous unfounded claims the company used faulty voting machines in order to rig the 2020 presidential election, thus securing Joe Biden’s win over Donald Trump.
Dominion originally was seeking $1.6 billion in damages, but Fox managed to settle out of court for a mere $787 million dollars after a judge deemed claims about the voting machines in question to be false.
During the company’s most recent earnings call, CEO Lachlan Murdoch said:
“We made the business decision to resolve this dispute and avoid the acrimony of a divisive trial and a multi-year appeals process. Our decision is clearly in the best interest of the company and its shareholders. The settlement in no way alters Fox’s commitment to the highest journalistic standards across our company, or our passion for unabashedly reporting the news of the day.”
Fox was ordered to pay a settlement of over $787 million dollars this past April, just after the second quarter began. According to a spokesperson for the network, “During the quarter we booked an $850 million charge in Other, net in relation to the Fox News Media defamation cases, reflecting all incurred and estimable costs at this time.” Much of this settlement cost is probably going to seep into the second quarter’s revenue report, which again will skew its true earnings report.
The company netted a total revenue of $4.08 billion with advertisements contributing around $1.86 billion to that number. A large percentage of that advertising revenue is directly related to Fox airing the Super Bowl during the first quarter.
To further complicate the future finalized total of Q2’s reports, a former Fox News producer filed a lawsuit stating she was coerced by network lawyers to make misleading statements during the Dominion case. Additionally, Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion defamation lawsuit last March accusing Fox News Network, Rudolph Giuliani, and others of false claims against its voting systems as well.