Television

Balaji’s consolidated six-month revenue nearly doubles to Rs 283 cr

Ebitda loss was Rs 35 crore, compared to Rs 69 crore in the first half of the previous fiscal year

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Mumbai: Balaji Telefilms announced its financial results for the second quarter and six months ended 30 September 2022. Balaji’s consolidated six-month revenue was Rs 283 crore versus Rs 142 crore in the same period in the previous fiscal. The group's Ebitda loss was Rs 35 crore versus Rs 69 crore in the first half of the previous fiscal.

During the three months of this quarter, it had a pipeline of eight shows on air across four leading broadcasters. In Q2 FY23, the TV business produced 275 hours of content, up from 189 hours in Q2 FY22. Two new shows across varied genres have been lined up and are currently under production. The business contributed to extremely healthy margins during H1 FY23 and will continue to be volume-led. The current quarter's realisation of Rs 30.37 lakh per hour is nine per cent higher than the previous quarter's. Balaji said that its shows have often been regarded as channel drivers for broadcasters as they have been consistently well received by audiences.

AltBalaji’s direct subscription revenue stood at five crore rupees in Q2 FY23, and the business is expected to retain the momentum as per current run rates for the balance of the year considering a strong content library in place with 93 shows and 18 movies, which include multiple seasons of shows. Apharan 2 and Code M S2 were launched in Q1 and Q2 respectively and both shows have been well received. The company sold 6.1 lakh subscriptions (including 3.2 lakh renewals) during the six months ending 30 September 2022. This excludes subscribers on partner apps where the content continues to do well. The current engagement time is 53+ minutes, with a watch time of 16.4 billion minutes. Video views stand at 1.4 billion cumulatively to date.

It had two theatrical releases in Q2 FY23. It said that its first release for the year, Ek Villain Returns starring John Abraham and Arjun Kapoor released on 29 July to positive reviews and garnered a strong box office collection. Its subsequent theatrical release, Dobaaraa starring Taapsee Pannu in August, received widespread critical acclaim on account of its niche concept. It also released Goodbye, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rashmika Mandanna, in October to positive reviews. It has three more movies lined up for release in FY23, wherein we have pre-locked revenue deals, thereby de-risking the movie business segment significantly. The pipeline includes Freddy, starring the nation’s current heartthrob Kartik Aryan, which has already been blocked for a direct-to-digital release starting 2 December on Disney+ Hotstar and also includes Kathal, starring Sanya Malhotra, which is also headed for a direct to digital release on Netflix.

Balaji Telefilms MD Shobha Kapoor said, "Our TV business continues to perform well in terms of production hours, and we hope to improve this momentum as two new shows are added to our robust pipeline of eight shows that we currently have on air across channels and genres that will enable us to achieve volume growth. As always, we are confident that our content will strike a chord with audiences, as our storytelling is backed by strong creative capabilities, which drive our business growth and allow our brand to flourish in this domain. We are also extremely elated that, after a gap of almost two and a half years, we had our first theatrical release in July this year. Ek Villain Returns, headlined by a strong star cast, received positive audience reviews, which were also reflected in its box office collection.

"Our subsequent theatrical release, Dobaaraa starring Taapsee Pannu garnered a great critical response and was trending at the number one spot on Netflix upon its release on OTT subsequently. It continued to dominate the OTT space by consistently featuring in the top ten category for multiple weeks, which demonstrates our strong content capabilities yet again. Additionally, we have a robust pipeline of three more movies to be released this year and are confident that these will exceed expectations and take our brand a notch higher. We continue to have strong controls on the cash spent while driving overall profitability, including some strong strategic content sharing deals that allow us to further our growth."

Operational And Financial Highlights:

The TV business remained steady in the third quarter, with 275 hours of production across eight shows and a strong pipeline of two more shows currently in production. The business will continue to be volume-led; ALTBalaji's total subscriptions sold in H1 FY23 were 6.1 lakh. In Q2 FY23, direct subscription revenues were five crore rupees.

After a gap of more than two and a half years, it had its first theatrical release of the year in July. Ek Villain Returns was released. Dobaaraa, starring Taapsee Pannu and Goodbye starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rashmika Mandanna, were released on 19 August and 7 October respectively, and received widespread critical acclaim by audiences. Dobaaraa trended at the No. 1 spot, subsequently on Netflix, upon its release on OTT.

The current pipeline includes three more projects. This includes Freddy starring Kartik Aryan, which has already been blocked for a direct-to-digital release starting 2 December on Disney+ Hotstar as well as Kathal starring Sanya Malhotra which is also headed for a direct to digital release on Netflix.

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