Television

Zee News Ltd Q3 ad rev strong, no big fall in carriage fee

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MUMBAI: A double-digit ad revenue growth has helped Zee News Ltd (ZNL) put up a performance better than the market expectations in the festive quarter but a top executive of the company cautioned that a significant turnaround in spending by advertisers is yet to be visible.

The carriage payout to cable networks has only marginally dropped in the digitised markets and subscription growth has been subdued.

ZNL?s ad revenue rose 14.8 per cent to Rs 595.6 million in the fiscal-third quarter from Rs 518.8 million a year earlier, despite a ?significant opportunity? loss in terms of advertising revenues from the government.

"There was a better utilisation of ad inventory during the festival season and we also offered branding and event-based solutions to advertisers. But this is not to say that the ad slowdown has lifted and there is a big turnaround. We will outperform the market which is growing in single digit," ZNL chief executive officer Alok Agrawal told Indiantelevision.com.

ZNL's ad revenue growth for the full-fiscal will be in single digit. TV news broadcasters have been fighting the government on ad rates and are not accepting DAVP (Directorate of Audio Visual Publication) advertising. "The standoff continues and NBA (News Broadcasters Association) members are not carrying DAVP ads," said Agrawal.

ZNL posted a 14.2 per cent growth in net profit to Rs 185.5 million in the third quarter ended 31 December from Rs 162.5 million a year earlier.Its operating profit (Ebidta) in the third quarter stood at Rs 196.7 million against Rs 189.7 million in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

The news broadcaster, which has seven channels in its portfolio, reported consolidated revenues of Rs 858.4 million in the third quarter, an increase of 10.1 per cent from Rs 779.7 million a year ago.

Subscription revenue stood at Rs 222 million, down 0.3 per cent from the previous quarter, and up 15.2 per cent from the earlier-year period.

Operating expenditure jumped 12.2 per cent to Rs 661.7 million due to increase in employee costs and other expenses.

Carriage fee has only fallen marginally in the digitised markets. "There has been no significant reduction in carriage fee in the completely digitised markets of Delhi and Mumbai. It has not definitely gone as per the plans of the news broadcasters," said Agrawal.

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