Only $84 m. in revenues last fiscal, but Dasgupta confident SET will net profits this year

NEW DELHI: Striking a bullish note, Sony Entertainment Television (SET) India feels it will make profits after tax (PAT) at the end of the current financial year ending 31 March, 2003. The company netted revenues of about $ 84 million in the last fiscal.

"We expect to make a profit (after tax) this year," SET India Pvt Ltd chief executive Kunal Dasgupta said on the sidelines of a press conference organised by SET to announce four new programmes, including the Madhuri Dixit-hosted marriage-related reality show Kahin Naa Kahin Koi Hai. 

According to Dasgupta, SET India netted advertising revenues of about $ 74 million in the last financial year, with approximately $ 10 million coming in as subcription revenues.

Though Dasgupta did not give out the details of the targets for the company this year, he admitted that for his ad sales and marketing team, the target is to get 40 per cent of the ad budget for TV from each advertiser. 

"We have two strong channels, SET MAX and Sony and air the best of movies, serials and now an Indian reality show too. Our aim should be to get 40 per cent of the budget of every big advertiser which it has earmarked as TV spend," Dasgupta said.

SET India, is expecting that new programmes, specially the Dixit-hosted show, will do for the company what KBC and few "saas-bahu kahanis" did for Star Plus and Star India.

Queried on how SET India plans to market the cricket rights that it has obtained, Dasgupta gave a cautious reply: "Wait and watch." 

However, when queried whether implementation of the conditional access system will hamper SET India's revenue prospects, Dasgupta said, "I don't think by the time next cricket World Cup is played CAS would be in place. That is why I don't think our marketing of cricket will run into any problems." 

The goal for Sony Discovery Pvt Ltd, the distribution joint venture between SET and Discovery, is to up the susbcription revenues so that 25 per cent of the total revenues of SET come from subscription. 

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