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Subscription drives Network18; TV18 revenues, EBITDA up

N18 Subscription grew 48 percent y-o-y, op revenue grew 11 per cent

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BENGALURU: Network18 Media & Investments (Network18, N18) reported 10.8 pe rcent increase in consolidated operating revenue for the quarter ended 30 June 2019 (Q1 2020, quarter or period under review) as compared to the corresponding year ago quarter (y-o-y). TV18 Broadcast (TV18), a publically listed subsidiary of N18, is a major contributor to Network18’s numbers. TV18 reported 9.7 percent y-o-y increase in consolidated operating revenue for Q1 2020 as compared to Q1 2019. Subscription revenue increased 48.3 percent for the quarter under review to Rs 424 crore from Rs 286 crore.

Company speak

Network18 says in an earnings release that New Tariff Order (NTO) implementation pains have smoothened as the value-chain adjusts to the new regime, and its subscription income has received a boost. Nevertheless, some flux in distribution and viewership is lingering, which N18 expects to taper away in the near term. As consumers make their pack/channel choices, the company believes that strong content propositions and distinctive brands will continue to gain traction. The company says that its bouquet is well-placed to benefit, through leading channels and improved distribution tie-ups.

Network18 chairman Adil Zainulbhai said: “Amidst a challenging advertising environment and the implementation of a new tariff regime, we have continued to focus on creating great content for all media. Our regional portfolio continues to grow across both broadcasting and digital, and we believe that the connect our growing brands enjoy with the diverse Indian populace shall stand us in good stead.”

Speaking as chairman of TV18, Zainulbhai said “Our channel brands have witnessed a strong uptake in the new tariff regime which places the consumer even more at the center of the broadcasting business model. Class-leading value, genre-defining content and a pipe-agnostic approach are the tenets which we believe will continue to propel our portfolio forward.”

Let us look at the numbers reported by the company

Network18 operating revenue grew to Rs 1,245 crore in Q1 2020 from Rs 1,124 crore in Q1 2019. Consolidated operating EBIDTA for the quarter under review more than doubled (grew 137 percent) to Rs 46 crore from Rs 19 crore.

The company says that operating revenues from its News business (TV18 standalone) grew 29 percent y-o-y to Rs 298 crore in Q1 2020 from Rs 232 crore in Q1 2019. The company reported a positive EBIDTA from its News business of Rs 20 crore in Q1 2020 as compared to a loss of Rs 1 crore in the corresponding year ago quarter.

Revenue from its Entertainment business (Viacom18, AETN and Indiacast) grew 5 percent y-o-y in Q1 2020 to Rs 899 crore from Rs 857 crore in Q1 2019.

TV18 consolidated revenue for Q1 2020 grew 10 percent to Rs 1,198 crore from Rs 1,088 crore in Q1 2019. Consolidated EBIDTA for Q1 2020 grew 96 percent y-o-y to Rs 77 crore from Rs 39 crore in Q1 2019.

Network18’s Digital, Print, Others Business and intercompany eliminations (Digital) grew 32 percent to Rs 48 crore from Rs 32 crore. EBIDTA increased to a loss of Rs 128 crore in Q1 2020 from a loss of Rs 112 crore in Q1 2019.

Network18’s total expenditure increased 10.8 percent y-o-y to Rs 1,308 crore from Rs  1,308 crore from Rs 1,181 crore. The company reported 11 percent higher operating costs for Q1 2020 at Rs 574 crore as compared to Rs 517 crore in Q1 2019. Marketing and distribution expenses during the quarter under review increased 33.3 percent y-o-y to Rs 252 crore from Rs 189 crore. Finance costs in Q1 2020 increased 53.7 percent y-o-y to Rs 63 crore from Rs 41 crore. Other expenses for the quarter under review declined 21.3 percent to Rs 100 crore from Rs 127 crore.

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