Star India is on course to meet its $500 million EBIDTA target by 2018 according to the latest comments by parent company 21st Century Fox’s Chief Financial Officer, John Nallen. Speaking at the 2015 Media, Communication & Entertainment Conference in Beverly Hills California he said that he was fully confident of the target being achieved by the company set for 2018.
“Top opportunity continues to be international, led by STAR, which clearly is going to lead a lot of our international growth,” he said. He had further added, “One of the top priorities, uniquely for us is international. We've got a particular focus on growth outside the US. We continue to harness the assets we have in STAR, FIC (Fox International Channels) and in Sky but we continue to be opportunistic to the extent we can outside the US.”
Nallen said, “We feel confident about the $500-million target for 2018. It's coming from two factors - one is continued growth of the entertainment business, which was the hallmark of the Star business. We get 23-24 per cent market share every night. It's a market that is growing. In the last six months TV ad market grew 21%, we over-indexed because of our strength.”
He further said that the company owns the IP rights to all the content and this content can be fed into the digital platform Hotstar. Investment in sports is something that they do not need to do any more. He said the investment cycle in sports which is big is behind them. “Going forward we have lumpy years because of the World Cup Cricket is being sort of like World Cup football. But that won't interfere with us in getting our target. So we feel pretty good about it,” he said. He ruled out major investment in Star in the near future saying, “Not much more investment (in Star India). This year we grew the investment because we extended one of the sports franchises that we started, this local Kabaddi sport that has turned into a phenomenon in India. There is not a massive new incremental investment that we need for Star India.”
Star India had invested over Rs.300 crore in Pro Kabaddi League, which also includes Rs.150 crore investment in the inaugural edition last year.
Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India earlier in May had said that the company by FY2018 would be able to deliver an EBIDTA of $500 million and by the turn of the decade an EBIDTA of $1 billion.