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We remain bullish about India over the long term: James Murdoch

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We remain bullish about India over the long term: James Murdoch

Star India, which has set a target of delivering $500 million EBITDA in FY18, has posted an EBITDA of $100 million in the quarter ended September 30. 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch said that the India business is poised to touch $500 million for the full fiscal with three more quarters left, said media reports. Incidentally, 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Star, follows a fiscal calendar of July to June.

He also pointed out that the strategy to divert profits from the entertainment business into the loss-making sports business was the right strategy. Murdoch also lauded the Star India team led by chairman and CEO Uday Shankar, who was recently elevated to President-Asia for 21st Century Fox. He further noted that the India business is also growing its capability around new businesses like Hotstar, which is growing at a great speed. “We remain bullish about India over the long term. We’ve been investing there for a long time. I mean, just see the scale in the marketplace, the transparency in the marketplace, the ability to go and innovate and entrepreneurial spirit in the marketplace – I mean, that is just unique in the world,” Murdoch is reported to have said.
Talking about the $2.5 billion IPL media rights acquisition, Murdoch said that the company was cautious of its EBITDA targets while bidding for the rights, say media reports. According to Murdoch, IPL is a great product with a loyal audience which will be a big driver for the business in the long run. However, he noted that no one set of rights is completely essential as the business is made up of much more than that. The addition of IPL also means that Star Sports has a continuous supply of sports content through other sports properties like PKL, ISL and BCCI. Interestingly, the IPL will also be used to fuel the growth of Hotstar globally.

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