News
Corporation has further slashed the flow of information about its Australian
operation to only one line of figures, and that’s just for Foxtel. And
even that has been cutback and is now inadequate compared to previous levels
of disclosure.

In the
first quarter figures released this morning, News has reduced information about Foxtel to that
single line, a loss of $US 2 million compared to a loss of $US 7 million a year
earlier. Gone is
the previously disclosed information about revenues, about subscriber numbers,
debt and comparisons with the previous quarter and a modest
comment.

Gone
also is probably the most accurate gauge about how Foxtel is travelling. It
follows the decision to stop disclosing revenue figures and some chat about News
Ltd, the company’s Australian newspaper operations. All
there is in this release is some general comment about how the inclusion of
Queensland Press has improved things.

I bet
we won’t see any of this in any commentary from News Ltd finance journalists or
columnists.

Stephen Mayne writes:

With Rupert already in Australia for next week’s Adelaide “shareholder
information meeting”, this reduced disclosure paves the way for lots of
questions about the local operations, which are indeed now largely
ignored in the quarterly result and conference call.