Restructuring boosts TV18 numbers for fiscal 2019

The restructured TV18’s total income was Rs 4,978.17 crore.

BENGALURU: Restructuring at TV18 Broadcast Ltd (TV18) and its parent Network18  has helped boost TV18 financial numbers for the year ended 31 March 2019 (FY 2019, year under review) as compared to the previous year. The restructuring included Viacom18 Media Private Ltd and Indiacast Distribution Private Ltd becoming subsidiaries of TV18 with effect from 1 March 2018 and the merger by absorption of four direct/indirect wholly owned subsidiaries. Due to the restructuring, numbers for the previous year are not comparable with the year under review.

The restructured TV18’s revenue from operations jumped to Rs 4,942.70 crore and total income to Rs 4,978.17 crore in FY 2019. For FY 2018, the company had reported revenue from operations as Rs 1,475.19 crore and total income of Rs 1,508.18 crore. Profit after tax and simple EBITDA for the year under review was Rs 210.40 crore and Rs 313.53 crore respectively. For the previous year, TV18 had reported PAT as Rs 8.93 crore and its simple EBITDA was Rs 58.97 crore. Total comprehensive Income for FY 2019 was Rs 201.28 crore, while for FY 2018 it was Rs 9.22 crore.

Let us look at the other numbers reported for fiscal 2019

TV18’s total expenditure in FY 2018 was Rs 4,862.25 crore, for FY 2018 it was Rs 1,512.39 crore in FY 2018. Operation costs in FY 2019 were Rs 2,439.80 crore, for FY 2018 operation costs were Rs 492.74 crore. Marketing, distribution and promotional expense in FY 2019 were Rs 826.55 crore, for FY 2018 they were Rs 282.60 crore. Employee Benefits Expense in FY 2019 were Rs 954.87 crore, for FY 2019, they were Rs 428.63 crore. Finance costs in the year under review were Rs 100.62 crore, for FY 2018 they were Rs 26.96 crore. Other expenses in FY 2019 were Rs 407.95 crore, for the previous year they were Rs 212.25 crore.

In its financial press release TV18 has mentioned the following comparative table which has the restated numbers for its current ownership structure:

For FY 2019, the company has restated numbers for current structure of ownership for its businesses as follows:

TV18 standalone (News business) operating revenue increased 14 percent in FY 2019 to Rs 1,079 crore from Rs 946 crore. News business EBITDA in FY 2019 grew 179 percent to Rs 92 crore from Rs 33 crore. Further breaking up the news business, national news (business+general) operating revenue grew 12 percent in FY 2019 to Rs 817 crore from Rs 732 crore. National news operating EBITDA increased 5 percent in FY 2019 to Rs 166 crore from Rs 158 crore. Regional news (Ex IBN Lokmat) operating revenue in FY 2019 increased 22 percent to Rs 262 crore from Rs 214 crore. Regional news (Ex IBN Lokmat) operating EBITDA was a lower loss of Rs 74 crore in FY 2019 as compared to an operating loss of Rs 125 crore in FY 2018. 

From its entertainment business (Viacom18+AETN+Indiacast) TV18 reported flat operating revenue of Rs 3,863 crore for FY 2019 as compared to Rs 3,868 crore for FY 2018. Entertainment business operating EBITDA was 6 percent higher in FY 2019 at Rs 221 crore as compared to Rs 208 crore in FY 2018. 

Company speak:

TV18 chairman Adil Zainulbhai said: “In a year of unprecedented change, we continue to invest in media and position ourselves to become a leader in the industry. The new tariff order has thrown up an opportunity for broadcasters to tailor content creation and curation as well as monetisation dynamics much more closely to the end consumer; thereby aligning supply to real demand. As regional and digital content takes over the mantle of driving growth from national GECs, it is even more imperative that we stitch together an ecosystem which can provide everything the new-age Indian needs.”

The company says that advertisers pulled back spends due to lack of stable viewership data after the implementation of the New Tariff Order (NT) on 1 February 2019. It says that gross subscription revenue growth has been impacted too, as subscriber base has yet to normalise due to implementation challenges. It says that FTA GEC Rishtey and Hindi movie channel Rishtey Cineplex were withdrawn from the DD Freedish platform and were re-introduced as pay TV channels on 1 March 2019 with some original programming and reinforced movie library.

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