Television

Punit Goenka on TRAI tariff order and Zee's stake sale

The Punit Goenka-led company posted solid Q4 numbers

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MUMBAI: The high profile stake sale of one of India’s most iconic companies Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) is likely to be finalised by July, said MD and CEO Punit Goenka on Monday.

“We are progressing well and with political uncertainty behind us, we hope to sign a binary agreement by July," Goenka said during an earnings call after Zeel’s Q4 results were announced.

Goenka highlighted the fact that Zeel had posted solid numbers across all key parameters despite the implementation of the new tariff order. He pointed out that the new regulatory framework had impacted the subscription and advertising revenues for the fourth quarter.

"As I had indicated earlier, the implementation of this new regulation has led to short-term disruptions, which is understandable given the size of our pay TV market. Based on the initial signs, I do believe that the changes that this regulation will bring in will be positive for us,” he said.

Goenka argued that advertisers have been cautious with their spends due to the tariff order rollout, adding that there has been a moderation in consumer demand.

“The tariff order should settle down on the ground soon and the new government's primary objective will be to stimulate the consumer demand, both of which will inspire confidence in the advertisers. The new subscription regime would be beneficial for all the stakeholders in the value chain,” he stated.

In November last year, Zeel had revealed the decision of its promoters to sell up to 50% of their equity in the company to a strategic partner . The objective of the stake sale was to transform Zee into a global media tech player.

In the last three to four months, a slew of big companies have rumoured to have shown an interest in pocketing a significant stake in Zee. With Goenka now suggesting that the deal is likely to be wrapped up by July, speculation among the media and entertainment industry watchers is bound to be in overdrive.

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