TV segment ad revenue decline to be in range of 20-25% at end of FY21, report estimates

ZeeL and TV Today to outperform others

KOLKATA: The broadcasters have had rockier than the usual first half of the year due to ongoing crisis as the advertising spends fell drastically. While the market is slowly recovering, ad decline could be in the range of 20-25 per cent at the end of FY21. The report published by Elara Capital also predicts that Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (Zeel) and TV Today Network (TV Today) will outperform other broadcasters in terms of ad revenue.

Zeel’s growth will be driven by Zee Anmol moving back towards FTA and strong gains in the south based regional genre, as per the report. It further adds that TV Today will have an advantage of the shift in the news genre due to sharp viewership gains compared to other genres, which has tapered off post the unlock. However, it still remains high compared to pre-Covid levels. Aaj Tak being the leader in the news genre in the first half of FY21, the traction for ad spends in the festive season is expected to remain healthy along with some benefits during Bihar elections, thanks to strong market share for election poll viewership.

It re-emphasises that the re-conversion of channels like Zee Anmol, STAR Utsav from paid to FTA will continue to benefit the listed broadcasters like Zeel positively as they have been gaining significant market share within the GEC genre attracting ad revenues. Hence, the report predicts the ad revenues from these channels to move back to pre-NTO levels, which had plummeted after their conversion to paid channels post NTO 1.0 implementation.

Genre-wise, Hindi and regional GEC will outperform TV ad spends, while other genres like English, music, infotainment etc. will underperform given the continued weakness witnessed in the English entertainment genre and struggle of music, infotainment in attracting ad spends.

The report says that the pricing of GEC genre has seen a sharp recovery and down by merely 25-30 per cent narrowing the gap from 60-65 per cent in April-May. However further recovery for pricing in the GEC genre is expected only after the Indian Premier League (IPL) i.e. November onwards, as the latter has extracted a huge chunk of ad budgets. It also says that the festive uptick coupled with the resumption in GEC ad spends post the IPL season to bode well for the broadcasters, during the first half of the third quarter leading to 15 per cent growth year-on-year.

Nonetheless, the report mentions that broadcasters would not be able to close the quarter with the festive gains due to some drop towards December. Hence, they will end overall Q3 at a 7-8 per cent growth excluding IPL. During the fourth quarter, broadcasters are expected to report a growth of 10-12 per cent given the low base of FY20 impacted by Covid2019. Based on these expectations, FY21E ad decline translates to average 17- 19 per cent (ex-IPL).

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