ZEEL's Punit Goenka on TRAI tariff order impact, FY20 outlook and ZEE5 growth

The broadcasting industry faced four to six per cent channel reach drop due to MSOs revolts.

MUMBAI: The implementation of the new TRAI tariff order has gone about rather smoothly except for a few errant MSOs, here and there, who have caused a four to six per cent drop in the broadcast industry’s channel reach. Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) also was impacted and hopes to recover quickly in the coming months.

“As an industry, the reach drop has been about four-six per cent (point), different for different genres. For us, in the Hindi genre, we have seen slightly more than the industry drop. But we are confident that in the coming months we will recover this and therefore things should go back to normal,” Zee Entertainment MD and CEO Punit Goenka commented in an earnings call after Q4 results.

Although the new TRAI tariff order rules have made deals simpler, some MSOs are willing to do backdoor deals while most are falling in line. However, ZEEL has shut the backdoor option completely. Even if some MSOs want to put pressure by not including ZEEL channels in the base pack or a-la-carte, the company will not indulge their side deals.

Goenka also added that ZEEL is working with MSOs and DTH companies for joint marketing to the consumers. In the cases where MSOs aren’t agreeing, ZEEL is doing the marketing itself. He added that the industry will have to wait for two to three months to see how the tariff order has changed the game.

“I will only use an example that all the DTH companies have used our pricing and placed us in the bundle that they think is best from the consumer perspective. That gives me the confidence that my pricing is bang on. It’s only errant MSOs who are trying to make additional money because they were paying us lesser than what we deserved, other ones were acting difficult, but which through our content pool and marketing efforts from a B2C basis, I’m pretty confident that we will get it back from them,” he commented on ZEEL’s channel pricing.

While TRAI is considering floating a consultation paper to adjust broadcasting tariffs, Goenka holds the view that any more disruption will have an upheaval effect not only from the industry side also from the consumers’ side. If the clause of 15 per cent capping gets include, it will lead to litigation.

Goenka predicted low double-digit growth in advertising in FY 20 and also added that ZEEL expects to beat the industry growth. On the subscription side, ZEEL’s guidance of low teens still stands but that may be revisited at the end of Q1.

“We are clear that we will be producing a minimum of 72 original series plus movies that have already been factored into our plan. And my guidance for 30%+ margins, factors in all the losses that we intend to incur,” he said about his estimation of ZEE5.

While he was asked why ZEEL is not licensing some of its old content to other platforms for funding direct-to-consumer business, he made it clear that ZEEL would rather have the content on its platform. As ZEEL has made substantial advances of around Rs 690 crore to content producers, this money for content creation is in the right strategy, for not just ZEE5, but cuts across all of its businesses.

When asked about the slowdown in the growth of ZEE5, he commented, “I do not agree that the growth has been slowing down because keep in mind Q4 also has the impact of exams etc. which we have not witnessed in ZEE5, this is the first time we have seen Q4. Important will be to see what happens in Q2 after the IPL and World Cup etc. have passed.”

Latest Reads
Star Sports launches MISSION 2020 with the Men in Blue

MUMBAI: The ‘Men in Blue’ have embarked on their quest to bring the ICC T20 World Cup Trophy home next year, beginning with the home season of cricket on Star Sports with South Africa tour of India that started on September 15th. Mission 2020 will showcase all India matches as they prepare for the...

Television TV Channels Sports
Zee Kannada’s Jote Joteyali launch breaks all records in the Kannada Television Industry

MUMBAI: The No. 1 Kannada General Entertainment Channel, Zee Kannada’s recently launched Jote Joteyali tops the charts in the Kannada television industry in the fiction genre. This eccentric love story garnered a total of 171% of growth in the prime slot of 8:30 PM, Monday to Friday. The record...

Television TV Channels Regional
CNN International to launch new programming

MUMBAI: CNN International, which reaches more than 400 million households around the world, is launching new programming from September 24, 2019. Broadcasting live at 2.30am IST, The Brief with Bianca Nobilo will provide viewers with an incisive look at the most significant live events and stories...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
FYI TV18 presents a modern dating show with a twist

MUMBAI: FYI TV18 is all set to burn up the dance-floor in its latest premiere, ‘Flirty Dancing’. Britain’s best-loved choreographer Ashley Banjo, who won ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ with his über-cool street-dancing moves, has now moved on to play cupid between strangers looking for love. With...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Nitin Bawankule to join as Star India head of ad sales from 1 October

MUMBAI: Star India, today announced the appointment of Nitin Bawankule as the head of ad sales. In this role, Bawankule will be responsible for leading ad sales across both linear broadcast and OTT for Star TV network and Hotstar respectively. This appointment is effective 1 October 2019 and will...

Television TV Channels People
Discovery Kids to launch animated series ‘Fukrey Boyzzz’ on 12 October

MUMBAI: Discovery Kids is all set to up the ante with the introduction of fun filled animated series ‘Fukrey Boyzzz’ based on superhit Bollywood franchise ‘Fukrey’ and ‘Fukrey Returns’. The channel will start broadcasting the series ‘Fukrey Boyzzz’ on October 12th, 2019 onwards at 1.30 PM and 7.30...

Television TV Channels Kids
&PrivéHD celebrates two years of nuanced cinema with a special line-up of never-seen-before movies on Indian television

MUMBAI: To new emotions, new revelations, new stories and to the new beginnings! It’s celebrations galore as &PrivéHD, the premium destination for nuanced cinema, enters its third year of showcasing stories that go beyond the obvious. To commemorate this momentous occasion and the start of a...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Dream Theatre wins Licensing Mandate for 'Little Singham'

India’s homegrown hero will now be within an arm’s reach as Dream Theatre Pvt.  Ltd., India’s foremost licensing and branding representation company, has won the mandate for licensing and merchandising for Little Singham, a show inspired by the popular Hindi film Singham. 

Television TV Channels Viewership
BARC week 37: Kairali TV replaces Zee Keralam in Malayalam space

MUMBAI: In week 37 of BARC India ratings, Kairali TV has replaced Zee Keralam which was the new entrant last week in Malayalam segment. The channel garnered 68564 weekly impressions (000s). Gujarati segment also witnessed some changes. Colors Gujarati Cinema grabbed the leading position from Colors...

Television TV Channels Viewership

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories