Entertainment drives Network18, TV18 numbers up

Subscription revenue’s 43% growth drove Entertainment revenue in FY 2020

BENGALURU: Mukesh Ambani’s Network18 Media & Investments Limited (Network18) reported 4.7 per cent growth in consolidated operating revenue for the year ended 31 March 2020 (FY 2020, year under review) as compared to the previous fiscal (FY 2019). Consolidated operating revenue for the quarter ended 31 March 2020 (Q4 2020, quarter under review) grew 19 per cent as compared to the corresponding year ago quarter (Y-o-Y).  Consolidated operating EBIDTA for the year and the quarter grew 191.2 per cent and almost twentyfold (up 1,888.1 per cent) as compared to the corresponding periods of the last year. The company reported profit after tax for FY 2020 and Q4 2020 as compared to losses reported in the previous year and the corresponding year-ago quarter. 

Network18’s reported consolidated operating revenue in FY 2020 and FY 2019 was Rs 5,375.15 crore and Rs 5,116.18 crore, respectively. For Q4 2020 and Q4 2019 it was Rs 1,464.51 crore and Rs 1,230.93 crore. Consolidated operating EBIDTA for FY 2020, FY 2019, Q4 2020 and Q4 2019 was Rs 616.92 crore, Rs 211.88 crore, Rs 225.11 crore and 11.34 crore, respectively. 

Network18 reports revenue from two streams – (1) TV18 Broadcast Limited or TV18 which comprises News (TV18 standalone) and Entertainment (Viacom18+AETN+Indiacast) and digital, print and others. It must be noted that Viacom18 and AETN18 are 51 percent Entertainment subsidiaries of TV18, while distribution-arm Indiacast is a 50:50 JV of TV18 and Viacom18. TV18's 24.5 percent minority stake in Telugu entertainment associate Eenadu TV (Ramoji Rao group) is not included in the TV18’s numbers.

Network18 reported profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 56.14 crore for FY 2020 as compared to a loss of Rs 177.60 crore in the previous year. For Q4 2020, PAT was Rs 60.19 crore as compared to a loss of Rs 75.57 crore in Q4 2019. 

TV18 Broadcast Limited numbers 

TV18 Broadcast Limited (TV18) consolidated revenue grew five percent in FY 2020 to Rs 5,175 crore from Rs 4,943 crore. TV18 consolidated revenue for Q4 2020 grew 21 per cent to Rs 1,425 crore from Rs 1,182 crore in Q4 2019. 

TV18 consolidated EBIDTA grew 124 per cent in FY 2020 to Rs 703 crore from Rs 314 crore in FY 2019. Consolidated EBIDTA for Q4 2020 grew 365 percent to Rs 240 crore from Rs 52 crore in Q4 2019. 

Though News (TV18 standalone) reported seven per cent growth in FY 2020 as compared to FY 2019, it contributes about 22 per cent to the revenues of TV18 consolidated revenues. The larger revenue stream for TV18 is entertainment, which had revenue growth of four per cent during the same period. TV18 standalone or news revenue grew seven per cent in FY 2020 to Rs 1,150 crore from Rs 1,079 crore in FY 2019. 

Entertainment revenue grew four percent as mentioned above to Rs 4,025 crore from Rs 3,863 crore. Entertainment revenue also includes subscription revenue – the company reported 43 per cent growth in subscription revenue for FY 2020 to Rs 1,811 crore from Rs 1,269 crore in FY 2019. This implies that without subscription, revenue from other streams of entertainment declined in FY 2020 as compared to FY 2019. 

News (TV18 standalone) operating EBIDTA grew five per cent in the year under review to Rs 97 crore from Rs 93 crore in FY 2019. Entertainment operating EBIDTA grew 174 per cent in FY 2020 to Rs 606 crore as compared to the Rs 221 crore in the previous year. 

News (TV18 standalone) revenue for Q4 2020 grew 4 per cent to Rs 301 crore from Rs 288 crore in Q4 2019. Entertainment revenue for the same period grew 26 per cent to Rs 1,124 crore from Rs 893 crore. Subscription revenue for Q4 2020 grew 41 percent to Rs 468 crore from Rs 332 crore. 

Operating EBIDTA for News (TV18 standalone) grew 11 percent in Q4 2020 to Rs 35 crore from Rs 31 crore in Q4 2019. Operating EBIDTA for Entertainment grew 901 percent during the quarter under review to Rs 206 crore as compared to Rs 21 crore in Q4 2019. 

Print, digital and others and intercompany eliminations (others) numbers 

Print, digital and others and intercompany eliminations (others) operating revenue in FY 2020 increased five per cent to Rs 182 crore from Rs 173 crore in FY 2019. Others operating EBIDTA in FY 2020 was a lower operating loss of Rs 86 crore as compared to an operating loss of Rs 102 crore in FY 2019. 

Others operating revenue for Q4 2020 reduced 20 per cent to Rs 40 crore from Rs 49 crore in Q4 2019. Operating EBIDTA for Q4 2020 was a lower operating loss at Rs 15 crore as compared to an operating loss in Q4 2019. 

Company speak: 

Network18 chairman Adil Zainulbhai said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is a major blackswan event, which has dragged the economy and the advertising environment as a result. The

immediate impact on the ad-driven media industry will be significant; however an increasing proportion of subscription revenues will help us pull through. Amid uncertain times, the strength of our brands and our class-leading content creation capabilities continues to shine through. We are proud of the coverage being provided by the News18 Network despite trying circumstances. The growth in media consumption witnessed augurs well for the future, as some of the increased engagement will be sticky even once the pandemic tapers off. We have stayed the course on our digital impetus and sharp focus on profitability.”

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