TV18 Broadcast reports Rs 115 crore Q2 net profit

The network's news business' advertising has fully recovered.

NEW DELHI: TV18 Broadcast Ltd has reported a net profit of Rs 115 crores for the quarter ended 30 September 2020, up from Rs 46 crore in the same quarter in the previous year.

The consolidated operating revenue for Q2 21 fell 10 per cent y-o-y and stood at Rs 1,013 crore against Rs 1,127 crore for the same period in Q2 20.

However, the consolidated operating EBIDTA grew by 56 per cent y-o-y to Rs 164 crore in Q2 21 against Rs 105 crore for the same period last year. Step-jump in EBITDA margins for both news and entertainment to healthy levels and H1 operating margins highest in four years despite Covid2019 drag; continue to improve y-o-y.

Ad-revenues have rebounded as economic activity resumed with the lifting of lockdowns. News business’ advertising has fully recovered, as viewership has settled at a higher level and entertainment recovery near-complete. However, the year-on-year revenue reduced to single-digits now.

Subscription revenues showed resilience and domestic subscription revenue has continued to rise. TV connections in commercial establishments and some low-end connections saw a temporary dip due to the pandemic; but multi-TV home connections have picked up. Distribution tie-ups across TV and digital continued to expand but international subscription witnessed pandemic-related stress.

Cost controls have been implemented since last financial year and were accelerated during the pandemic. Broad-based cost controls have been implemented across business lines, including renegotiation of contracts and reining-in all discretionary expenses. Working capital optimisation, a tight leash on debt, and softer interest rates has resulted in major savings in finance costs, boosting profitability.

Media consumption has settled at a higher plane in the face of receding Covid2019 impact. TV viewership had spiked to 1.5x of its usual levels at the beginning of lockdown, but has now settled at 1.1x as the economy gets unlocked. Digital media engagement too has received a smart fillip, across both news and entertainment. News genre has reverted to contributing eight per cent of TV viewership, vs 15 per cent during lockdown. Pay-TV has clawed back its share from free-to-air channels, as entertainment programming is back in full-swing.

TV18 chairman Adil Zainulbhai said, “TV18’s broadcasting businesses have recovered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to a very large degree. Our proactive measures on cost-control have resulted in much-improved profitability across both news and entertainment, despite certain market segments still suffering from pressures due to the Coronavirus. We have ensured business continuity through rejigging processes, innovatively revived alternative revenue streams, and focusing on aligning content distribution strategy with market opportunity. As we head into the festive season, the underlying trends on both viewership and monetization are supportive.”

News bouquet (20 channels) was #1 by reach and had 8.7 per cent news viewership market-share.

Entertainment bouquet (Viacom18’s 34 channels + AETN18’s 2 infotainment channels) share of TV entertainment rose to 10.7 per cent from a low of 9.1 per cent in Q1. By and large, entertainment viewership has improved sharply, led by ramp-up of original content production and telecast which had been shuttered during lockdown. Ad monetization is fast catching-up, with increased volumes of advertising ahead of the festive season leading to improving yields as well. Hindi general entertainment has fully revived as national advertising has ramped-up, while regional entertainment is following with a lag.  

In the digital segment, Voot witnessed a significant improvement in MAUs as fresh content resumed. It enjoys the most loyal audience amongst broadcaster-OTTs, with average daily time spent per viewer of 52 minutes. The scale-up of the advertising-led section is driving a reduction in gestation losses.

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