Embracing Disruption to Stay Competitive: Sudhanshu Vats
Sudhanshu Vats, Chairman- National Committee on Media & Entertainment, CII & Group CEO, Viacom18, at the inaugural day of CII Big Picture Summit 2016 held yesterday spoke about
How does the Indian M&E industry reach $100 billion? That is the major question that the 5th edition of the CII Big Picture Summit 2016 wants to answer. One of the prominent voices, in this regard, is Sudhanshu Vats, Chairman- National Committee on Media & Entertainment, CII & Group CEO, Viacom18.
In his address on the inaugural day of the summit, Vats shared his thoughts on the theme of the event, with practical examples of how disruption has shaped the current M&E landscape. He expressed his belief that media would play the biggest role in the 4G revolution that is expected in the country while further stating that there is a need for disruption in the industry, while at the same time, it is also needed for policy makers to adapt to the changing conditions, he also urged the audience to regard Technology and Data as friends and not foes.
“I’ve said this before and I’m going to say it again, Big Picture is one of my favourite industry events; favourite because it holds a special place in my heart. It was one of my first events when I became a part of this industry- at least - technically– given that I took over the reigns at Viacom18. I’d argue that all of India is part of this industry, given its role and scale,” said Vats kicking off his address at the inaugural day of CII Big Picture Summit 2016 held yesterday.
Excerpts from the speech:
The theme for this year’s edition is another favourite: ‘Embracing Disruption to Stay Competitive’. It’s quite a potent theme.
It’s a theme that explains how the sport of cricket reinvented itself 8 years ago to create a completely new avatar (called the IPL) that is arguably it’s most lucrative and successful one till date.
It’s a theme that explains how a new Hindi GEC called Colors launched in 2008 and became number 1 in just 9 months of launch.
It’s a theme that probably explains how a government owned distribution platform known as DD Freedish revolutionized the world of Indian television so much so that it is a topic of conversation in the boardroom of every M&E organization.
It’s a theme that explains how a show idea rejected by MTV, led to the creation of one of India’s most iconic YouTube channels: The Viral Fever.
It’s also a theme that explains why a telco called AT&T is expected to close a deal to acquire a media conglomerate called Time Warner in what is amongst this year’s biggest acquisitions. Of course, I’d like to see this as ‘convergence in action’ but more on that later.
Now that I’ve established my love for this event and this theme, let me take you through what I had planned to share with you earlier today. Today I was going to base my speech on Schumpeter’s theory of ‘creative destruction’. Schumpeter is a well-regarded economist who argues that constant innovation destroys legacy economic structures to create new ones and so on.
At Viacom18, we’d all like to believe we’re good listeners. We take feedback very seriously. So when I attended this brainstorming session with our programming teams- we call them ’Content pe Charcha’, named it after our PM’s ‘Chai pe Charcha' sessions (!)- I thought of taking some feedback on my speech.
I had barely finished explaining Schumpeter’s theory, when suddenly, one of our creative trainees- she had been working on this new show that we’re launching on Colors on Shanidev titled Shani- said, "why are we referring to these western archetypes when we have our own belief system to explain this". She went on, “The Hindu Trinity explains this much better. Brahma creates the universe, Vishnu preserves it and Shiv is the destroyer. All three have to work in tandem for the world to change, and change it must if it is to prosper.”
I’m not sure if my young colleague understands the profound impact that she had on my thinking – or that I would share her view before all of you- but think about it, it makes sense. In our organisations, we need to ensure a well-balanced mix of all three: creators, preservers and destroyers. In my professional experience I have seen that even the best of organisations- that have the best creators and preservers – don't have enough destroyers or, even if they do, they don’t allow destroyers to play their role.
I would like you to pause and think about what I’ve just said. When was the last time, any of you- any of us- decided to end a consequential practice, department, revenue stream – or a business? The likely answer is, never. Ending something, destroying it or disrupting it generally seen as unpleasant. Even worse, one worries about the repercussions: ‘will I be blamed for this?’, ‘what if people dislike me for this’, ‘will I lose my job’ etc.
Our systems discourage destruction. In our minds we have this notion that the word ‘destruction’ itself is wrong. But if you look back, our belief system has always emphasised on the need to destroy. If we don’t destroy, then we will be disrupted.
This, I believe, is the basis of our theme for this year’s edition of the summit. Over today and tomorrow, as you attend the sessions and interact with our attendees, think and ask, if you had to destroy one particular aspect about your business today, what would it be? It’s not an easy conversation. But trust me, it’ll make the future easier.
Our knowledge partners- BCG- have worked hard to create yet another differentiated report. They’ve pegged our industry size at approximately 1, 30, 000 crores. This puts us at almost 1% of the GDP with a direct employment base of half a million. If we look at indirect employment the number will multiply several times over. If we look at employment in sectors in which we have a multiplier effect, say telecom, tourism, sports and so on, and we are looking at a much larger base. If we have to, say double in size (and this is not impossible), GDP is growing at a breakneck speed, inflation is looking subdued, we’ve had a decent monsoon, GST is around the corner, successful spectrum auctions have ensured that 4G will truly bring in a revolution, ease of doing business is improving, political stability is a given- then there are three fundamental truths that we need to prepare for. Bear in mind, that none of these can be leveraged if we fear ‘destruction’. Each of these truths has significant implications for us.
Disintermediation is a business reality: We have often spoken about B2C business models. We need to prepare ourselves for a direct to consumer offering and one with direct access to talent if we are to succeed.
- Today we often end up squabbling amongst ourselves. LCOs are fighting with MSOs, MSOs are fighting with broadcasters and so on. In all these squabbles, we need to ask ourselves what the consumer really wants and needs. The consumer is already finding value in OTT services.
- Similarly on the talent side. I truly believe that there is a bottleneck when it comes to the discoverability, nurturing and honing of quality talent. A large part of this is due to incumbents. There is this entire democratization story that unfolding in this space and my own sense is that incumbents refuse to accept it.
- For instance, Imogen Heap, a world-renowned musician, wants to use block-chain technology to create a ‘fair-trade’ music industry. This involves creating ‘smart content’ with inbuilt code that will sidestep streaming services and give musical talent greater control over their content and its monetization. She’s already founded Mycelia – an ecosystem aimed at exactly this.
Technology and Data our friends, not foes: We generally view technology/data and creativity as two sides of a coin. Instead, we need to see them as a potent currency that can revolutionise our success rates and monetisation.
- Let’s rethink the role of a Chief Digital Officer in our organisations. There’s always this constant ideological tug-of-war between those who claim that our business is only about human creativity and those who find themselves at the other end of the spectrum. This is not an either-or debate. It is an ‘and’ debate. Both insights are critical. At Viacom18, we call this a ‘guts+insight’ approach. Data is important, data doesn’t lie and data is objective. However, data can’t play the role of your intuition. Data also doesn’t have a job to loose!
The other place where data and tech play important roles is that of monetization. In the new world we can only charge more for advertising if it is more targeted. A simple glance at the segmentation data available on TV viewership measurement and online, especially with the tech giants tells you clearly about the risk traditional entities face. On the other hand, VPNs can render geo-fencing of rights obsolete. Technology is the new frontier and we must conquer it.
For instance, Everyone talks about how, at its peak, Pokemon Go has doubled the valuation of Ninetendo. Guess what- it has also reduced the time that would have been spent by its fans on consuming plain vanilla video content- on-air and online.
Media powers several economic ecosystems, way beyond its own.
- This is another personal favourite. Favourite event, favourite theme and favourite point. I’d like to make a contentious statement at this point. Our sector is amongst the biggest stars of the Make in India programme. Let me explain. I recently read that, in the last two years, India has seen 35 new smartphone factories, with a production capacity of 18 mn devices per month and employment to 37,000 Indians. While the focus here – at least in the popular context- is on telecom handset manufacturing, think about it- what is the use of the smartphone with a 5-inch screen if you don’t have video content? I have no qualms in stating that our industry will play the biggest role in the 4G revolution that this country is about to witness.
- We spoke about telecom. Let’s look at tourism. Travel and tourism in India, is a USD 150 Bn dollar industry, contributes to 9% of India’s employment – around 38 Mn jobs. Even back in the day, Shammi Kapoor’s Kashmir ki Kali led to an increase in tourists to Kashmir. Dil Chahta Hai drove tourists to Goa. We have recently partered with the Global Citizen Foundation for their first show outside the US, we expect tourism in Bombay to increase as a result of this.
Take sports; without the value of media rights, how can we sustainably build the sports ecosystem. Take FMCG, leading companies spend more than 10% of the total sales on advertising. Take away media and you’re taking away their growth. The point I’m making is that we are far bigger than the sum total of our sub-sectors. Today we provide direct employment to 0.5 Million Indians. The indirect number is at least 5 times this. The multiplier number is possibly 10 times this.
EXAMPLE: Our Honourable PM, Shri Narendra Modi has a vision for India to emerge as a superpower in the knowledge economy, the creative industries play a huge role. They offer a lucrative source of creating highly skilled jobs for both genders. In a developed country like the UK, the creative economy accounts for slightly under 10% of all jobs. That is our potential too.
- This ladies and gentlemen, sums up my thinking on the theme for this edition of Big Picture. I find myself in the august company of Shri Naiduji and Shri Sharmaji. It’s impossible for me to leave the dais without making a reference to our regulatory framework. I say this because without this piece, we’ll never crack our growth puzzle. We have just seen a very robust step towards the overhaul of the tariff regime for television. My singular, humble request to policymakers is as follows- we need to look at our industry from the perspective of ‘convergence’. This alone will recognize our role as a force multiplier. I made this reference earlier in my address as well. Sooner or later we will see the kind of consolidation we are witnessing in the West. Some signs are already visible. Therefore the regulatory framework must pre-empt this and prepare for it. This means ensuring parity across different forms of media so that there is no regulatory arbitrage. Several distortions have been corrected in the recently released draft regulation. However, it must now move beyond simply ‘TV’ towards ensuring parity across platforms. This is particularly important given that our sector knows no borders. We are competing on a global stage and it’s a tough market. Complete freedom to price will unleash our creativity even further and equip us to compete with the best in the world. An even lighter approach towards regulation, where market forces play and even greater role will also help all players in the value chain compete on the basis of efficiency. While it is important to level the playing field we must be careful not to carve out too many rules that prevent incumbents from truly competing because the framework prevents innovation. I must also add, that the industry is extremely pleased with the pro-active, consultative approach of the government. It has set the ball rolling on regulations that have been around frozen for way to long.
This brings me to end of my address- the importance of destruction, the three fundamental truths of disintermediation, technology and the ‘media multiplier’ and the need for our regulatory framework to adapt in an era of convergence.
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review, showed how 72% of the M&E leaders they surveyed believed that they would be moderately or massively disrupted in the next 12 months. This was higher than the corresponding number for any other industry. This I believe is our biggest opportunity. We must destroy what we have created, to create another that we will preserve, till it is destroyed again.
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The 'Diamond Play Button' is awarded to a YouTube channel on reaching 10 million subscribers
News channel Aaj Tak has been bestowed with the prestigious ‘Diamond Play Button’ by YouTube. According to the network, Aaj Tak is the first and the only news channel in the world to have crossed the 10 million subscriber mark.
The 'Diamond Play Button' is the top honor awarded by YouTube, next only to the Ruby Button at the 50 Million mark
The award was presented by YouTube to the India Today Group last week. This milestone achievement on YouTube by an Indian channel, puts India right on top of the global news media map.
Ms Kalli Purie, Vice-Chairperson, India Today Group, on accepting the recognition for the milestone, said, “I am so proud that AajTak has won the YouTube Diamond Button, the only news channel in the world to have earned this award. The diamond button is not an overnight success. This is something AajTak has worked very hard towards. We first got the silver button, then the gold button and then finally we got the diamond button at 10 million subscribers. The journey doesn’t stop here, we are ambitious and we are moving ahead, trying and working towards now the YouTube Ruby Button that comes in at 50 million subscribers. And I am sure with the support of our viewers, we will get there too, and we will get there ‘Sabse Tez’.”
Susan Wojcicki, CEO, YouTube, in her letter lauding the Aaj Tak YouTube channel for this accomplishment said, “We hope you will accept this Diamond Creator Award as a token of our appreciation and respect for what you have accomplished.” In the letter Susan Wojcicki expressed her amazement at the magnitude of this achievement.
She wrote “The 10 Million Mark? At this point we are actually scratching our heads. How on earth did you do that? 10 million subscribers is not just a lot of people. It is more than the entire population of New York City!”
Citing that the Aaj Tak YouTube channel is no longer just a channel but a movement, she added, “You have clearly touched a nerve in the world and you have found a legion of fans who expect – and receive- great things from you.”
YouTube Creator Awards recognize various YouTube channels for reaching significant milestones in subscribers under four categories. Silver Play Button is awarded when YouTube channels reach 100,000 subscribers, Gold Play Button awarded for channels reaching the milestone of 1 million subscribers, Diamond Play Button on reaching 10 million subscribers. And The Ruby Play Button is awarded to YouTube channels when they achieve 50 million subscribers.
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ZEEL’s revenue rose by 17.9 per cent at Rs 2,167 crore against Rs 1,838 crore last year
Zee Entertainment Enterprises’ strong third quarter results for financial year 2019 beat most industry analysts’ estimates. Shares of the company reportedly rose by as much as 4.2 per cent to Rs 475.90 on the day the results were announcement. While most global and Indian brokerage firms maintained a ‘Buy’ ‘Hold’ and ‘Outperform’ call on the stock, some global brokerage firms such as CLSA, HSBC and Citigroup reportedly raised their 12-month target price for the stock.
Revenue of the company rose by 17.9 per cent at Rs 2,167 crore against Rs 1,838 crore last year, beating IDFC securities’ estimate by 3 per cent, its EBITDA estimate by 5 per cent at Rs 754 crore and Profit After Tax (PAT) estimate by 10 per cent clocking Rs 525 crore in Q3FY19.
“Despite increasing investment across its TV and digital segments, consolidated margin improved by 250 basis point YoY to 34.8 per cent (IDFCe: 34%), and was a positive surprise. 30%+ guidance for FY19E & FY20E has been retained (9MFY19 stands at 33.6%),” says Rohit Dokania, Research Analyst, IDFC Securities Limited, in his result update.
Abneesh Roy, Research Analyst - Senior Vice President - Institutional Equities – Research, Edelweiss Securities Limited, in his result update, cites, “ZEE’s Q3FY19 revenue, EBITDA and PAT beat our and consensus estimates.”
“Key positives are 21 per cent YoY growth in domestic advertising fuelled by festive season and market share gains; and 29 per cent YoY spurt in domestic subscription revenue. ZEE clocked 34.8 per cent EBITDA margin—highest in past 12 quarters—despite investments in ZEE5,” he adds.
The company maintains its ‘Buy’ rating on the stock and says the stock is ripe for re-rating with another quarter of all-around ‘beat on a high base’.
Its total ad revenue went up by 21.7 per cent at Rs 1,462.6 crore, while total subscription revenue jumped 23.3 per cent at Rs 618.5 crore YoY.
Himanshu Shah, Research Analyst, Institutional Equities, HDFC Securities Institutional Research, in company’s result update, stated, “Despite strong YTD (year to date) performance, Zee’s share price has declined by 22 per cent in FY19. This has been due to PE contraction on account of weak operating cash flows and competitive concerns on digital. We believe that the concerns are overemphasized.”
On TRAI’s new tariff regime
Analysts believe that TRAI’s new tariff regime will augur well for ZEE, given its strong viewership and its leadership position in broadcasting. “Zee remains number 1 player in linear TV (appointment viewing) business with 20.2 per cent viewership share (+200bps YoY) led by strong traction across its Hindi and regional GECs. Growth outlook remain robust for this business. TRAI tariff order is likely to be positive in the medium term, but it may lead to short term volatility. Zee is scaling up well on digital (ZEE5),” says Shah.
On OTT platform ZEE5
Zee Entertainment’s OTT platform ZEE5 monthly active users (MAU) grew to 56.3m as of December 2018 versus 41.3m as of September 2018. On an average, users are spending 31 minutes per day on the platform. Analysts believe ZEE5’s focus on regional shows gives it an edge over peers. “We believe strong adoption of regional content on digital is not too far away and ZEE5 continues to have an edge over peers due to its focus on original regional shows,” says Karan Taurani, VP – Research Analyst (Media), Elara Securities (India) Private Limited.
“The next leg of re-rating will depend on the strategic partner announcement. However, current valuations appear fair at 23xFY20E P/E, given ZEE’s strong growth potential and market share gains in regional genres (Marathi, Tamil, Telugu & Bhojpuri),” mentions Taurani in company’s result update.
Other conference call highlights
- Zee Entertainment, in Investor conference call, highlighted that they are looking for strategic partner and in discussion with handful of strategic investors. It also highlighted of a possible deal announcement by Mar/Apr-19.
- Ad growth outperformance was not only led by traditional TV but by the digital platform as well
- Zee is yet to fully monetize its viewership market share gains in Kannada and Tamil
- ZEE5 is the only OTT platform creating content in six Indian languages. The company was able to launch only 31 original shows for ZEE5 until 31 December vs a target of 90 set at the start of the year
- ZEE5 has been soft launched in international markets. Zee expects to commercially rollout in APAC in 4QFY19. It targets to price content between $2 and $10, depending on the geography
- It estimates subscription revenue growth to be in the mid-teens
- International advertisements increased by 40 per cent YoY
- Gained strong traction in Europe and APAC
Vempati, CEO Prasar Bharati speaks about the new e-auction move and about the 14 news channels on Free Dish that help take their reach beyond the urban pockets
Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati recently announced its revised policy framework for the use of its satellite network, DD Free Dish.
54 slots on DD Free Dish will be e-auctioned to private players after a gap of almost 16 months after they were put on hold in August 2017. The e-auctioning will begin in February 2019.
Explaining the rationale behind the new move and how the public broadcaster was looking at leveraging its reach, we spoke to Shashi Shekhar Vempati, CEO Prasar Bharati about the new move and more.
What are the big changes that the new e-auctioning policy entails compared to its earlier version?
Back in August 2017, the auctions were put on hold pending a review because the ministry is also a stakeholder. If you recall, earlier the auction slot fee was broadly based on two categories: news and non-news.
So what had happened was that the non-news was a very broad category and invariably the slot fee went up to a level which only some commercially viable channels could afford, while certain other genres of public interest could not afford those.
Similarly, since the DD Free Dish base predominantly concentrated in the Hindi speaking belt, again most of the content was Hindi oriented and there was little representation for other regions and other languages. So part of the rethinking was how do we restructure the slot fees so that there is low entry point for those genres which are underrepresented.
So what you see in the new policy is that those two categories have been broadened into five categories. So we are able to get premium for the commercially high potential genres and languages, and a low entry point for infotainment, devotional and other genres including languages. So it is an exercise to ensure that we make it a win-win for everyone.
In your view, what are the biggest differential values that Free Dish offers to broadcasters?
There is KPMG and EY report on how the whole genre of Hindi entertainment and Hindi news channels has benefited from the Free Dish phenomena. There are 14 news channels on Free Dish already and it is important for them because it takes their reach beyond the urban pockets.
What are the big focus areas for Prasar Bharati in 2019?
I think a big focus has been digital and if you look at the way broadcasting is evolving, the way convergence is happening between traditional broadcasting and digital based platforms. So this is a new reality we need to prepare for, which also means a change at our end is required. So more of our content will now be digitally available and that is what we are focusing on.
Also, a lot of our operations have become IT enabled and we also have to think what will be our manpower model for the future because a large part of our workforce will retire in the next five years. So these are the changes that we are preparing for and a lot of momentum has picked up in the last few months.
How has the response to privatisation of radio news been so far?
It is very positive, the President of AROI (Association of Radio Operators of India) Anuradha Prasad has been very supportive and AROI as a body has been very supportive. Now we have to work with the individual operators so they start getting the content.
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In the Top 5 Programmes Colors’ new show ‘Fear Factor Khatron Ke Khiladi Jigar Pe Trigger’ led the urban market and took the second spot overall (Urban+Rural)
Zee Anmol continued to lead the overall market with 825 million impressions. Sony Entertainment Television climbed up to the second spot with 631 million impressions while Zee TV retained its third spot with 621 million impressions according to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India Week 2(January 5-11,2019) of 2019 data.
In the top five programme category, Colors ‘Naagin-3’ bagged the first spot in the Top 5 Programmes overall with 14.27 million impressions. Colors’ new show ‘Fear Factor Khatron Ke Khiladi Jigar Pe Trigger’ entered the category at second spot with 14.25 million impressions. Zee Anmol’s ‘Kumkum Bhagya’ slipped to the third spot with 13.95 million impressions, while ‘Kundali Bhagya’ held on to its fourth spot with 13.93 million impressions. Sony Entertainment Television’s ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ also maintained its fifth spot with 11.6 million impressions.
Sony Entertainment Television dethroned Star Plus to top the urban market with 466 million impressions. Star Plus slipped to the second spot with its 418 million impressions. Colors, Zee TV and Star Bharat retained its third, fourth and fifth spot with 397 million, 380 million and 322 million impressions respectively.
Colors’ new show ‘Fear Factor Khatron Ke Khiladi Jigar Pe Trigger’ led the Top Five Programmes with 9.7 million impressions. It was followed by Sony Entertainment Television’s ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ and ‘Super Dancer Chapter 3 Audition’ slipped to second and fourth spot with 9.1 million and 7.4 million impressions respectively. Colors’ popular ‘Naagin-3’ and Zee TV’s ‘Kundali Bhagya’ took third and fifth spot with 8.9 million and 6.5 million impressions respectively.
Zee Anmol too continued to lead the rural market with 669 million impressions. Star Utsav retained its second spot with 409 million impressions. Dangal climbed to the third spot with 378 million impressions. Rishtey retained its fourth spot with 361 million impressions while Sony Pal slipped to the fifth spot with 354 million impressions.
Zee Anmol’s ‘Kumkum Bhagya’ and ‘Kundali Bhagya’ led the Top Five Programmes in this market with 11.5 million and 11.4 million impressions respectively. Zee Anmol’s ‘Mahek’ retained its third spot with 8.8 million impressions while Dangal TV’s ‘Ramayan’ slipped to the fourth spot with 7.9 million impressions. Zee Anmol’s ‘Ek Main Aur Ek Tu’ slipped to the fifth spot with 6.5 million impressions.
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The Zee Family Pack offers 23 channels now at an attractive launch offer of only Rs. 39* per month
With the new TRAI tariff/pricing regime all set to come into effect from February 01, 2019, ZEE, has announced attractive launch offers for its consumers. Zee family packs will be available for Rs. 39* only. This special launch offer has been devised for consumers across Hindi speaking states, Maharashtra, West Bengal, and Odisha. Leading the change agenda for the new pricing paradigm, ZEE was the first network to roll out its multiple customer-centric packs and now with this attractive launch offer, it promises greater value and more affordability for consumers.
ZEE has three types of packs that come in very attractive prices ranging from the lowest at Zee Prime Pack Tamil-SD at Rs. 10* for 8 channels, Zee Family Pack – Hindi SD at Rs. 39* for 23 channels to the ZEE All-in-One SD pack that brings the entire lot of 26 channels at just Rs. 59* only. The Zee Family Pack includes leading channels such as Zee TV, &TV, Zee Cinema, &Pictures, Zee Bollywood, Zee News, Zee Anmol, Big Ganga, Zing, LF and many others, cutting across multiple genres such as entertainment, movies, news, music and lifestyle thereby offering content that caters to every member of the family, every day. The a-la-carte rates for certain channels like Zee Cinema, &pictures, Zee Talkies, Zee Yuva & Zee Bangla Cinema have also been revised.
Atul Das, Chief Revenue Officer - Affiliate Sales, ZEE said, “Zee is the No. 1 television network in the country. We continue to innovate and bring new content offering across genres like entertainment, movies, music, news, and lifestyle and in multiple languages including Hindi, Marathi, Bangla, Odia, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and English. As the new price regime gets implemented from 1st February 2019, we are excited that this would allow a better choice to consumers and bring transparency across the television value chain. To provide greater value to our consumers during this transition, we have come up with an attractive launch offer on the Zee Family Packs across Hindi, Marathi, Bangla, and Odia. All these packs are now available at a special price of Rs. 39* per month. We are delighted to offer the best of television series, drama, feature films, news, lifestyle content, and incredible new experiences, all at a great value to our consumers across the country.”
With a total of 59 channels (43 SD & 16 HD) in 11 languages reaching a total of 148 million households every day, ZEEL has been offering audiences in India ‘superhit’ entertainment cutting across genres. Whether it’s Pragya, Preetha, Zara Siddique or Bhabhiji in the Hindi Belt to Radhika in Maharashtra, Rani Rashmoni in West Bengal and many more in every region, our characters share a deep bond with viewers wanting them as dinner-table companions every day! The No.1 TV network that fulfills all the demands is Zee with its family packs that bring together the right assortment of superhit channels across the top genres of entertainment, movies, news, music, and lifestyle, making it a must-have for every family!
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‘Privé Unscripted’ to have shows on Obama, Trump, Weinstein, Bin Laden & others; premier on January 21 at 11pm
&PrivéHD, ZEEL’s premium English movie channel is all set to telecast its new offering from the BBC library. ‘Privé Unscripted’ will feature real-life stories of those who have been instrumental in shaping the modern world.
‘Privé Unscripted’ will include intriguing titles like ‘Weinstein: The Inside Story’, ‘Targeting Bin Laden (Featuring Barack Obama)’, ‘Meet the Trumps: From Immigrant to President’, ‘Inside Obama’s White House’, ‘David Beckham - Into the Unknown’ and more.
The new programme will premiere on January 21 at 11pm. The show will continue to be aired till January 25. Post that, the films will be aired every Sunday at 8pm.
The success of biographies across Bollywood and Hollywood in the recent past led to the launch of this new programming block. Pratyusha Agarwal, Chief Marketing Officer, ZEEL, says biographies or ‘real stories’ are doing well at the Box Office in both Bollywood and Hollywood for the last two years. “People really want to know these stories,” she said.
Shaurya Mehta, Head, Premium Channels, ZEEL, pointed out that the content is targeted at an evolved audience. “This is the first time an English movie channel is collecting large series of true stories and building a property around it on an ongoing basis. We wanted to tell true stories. Many of them are also opinion and topic drivers which create a lot of conversations and even debates. The idea was to showcase content that will engage the viewer from that facet as well,” he explained.
He added, “BBC is a very renowned and respected name in the field of creating content. We have had a rich relationship with them, since the successful launch of the BBC First block on Zee Café. With Privé Unscripted we extend that relationship and harness the power of this exceptionally thought-provoking quality content. We are sure that the audience will embrace this new format of content.”
Myleeta Aga, SVP and GM, South and South East Asia, BBC Studio, said, “We’ve had a great experience working with the team at Zee. Our association with BBC First resonated with Indian audiences so well and was a huge success. We believe that quality storytelling whether drama or unscripted will always connect with the audiences, immerse and entertain them. We hope to receive a great response from the viewers for our documentaries on &PrivéHD.”
Currently the channel has acquired over dozen titles. But they are continuing to look at more ensuring that the selection of the titles justify the ‘Unscripted’.
It will be promoted across digital and television. At the same time, the channel will be leveraging the popularity of on-ground properties like Kala Ghoda Festival and Little Flea through their activities.
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The association tees-off with the live broadcast of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship scheduled from January 16-19, 2019
DSPORT, a premium sports channel of Discovery Communications, will broadcast live marquee events from the European Tour 2019, Europe’s premiere and one of golf’s strongest professional tours featuring some of the world’s top professional golfers.
The association tees-off with the live broadcast of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship scheduled from January 16-19, 2019.
The first tournament as part of the Rolex Series, the Abu Dhabi event will feature top golfers of the world like world number two and three Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka in a strong field.
Apart from Shubhankar Sharma, who became the first Indian to win the prestigious European Tour Rookie of the Year award last year, other top Indian golfers like Anirban Lahiri, Gaganjeet Bhullar and SSP Chawrasia among others can now be seen in live competition action throughout the year.
Hero MotoCorp, who already have golf legend Tiger Woods as their ambassador, and also present the Hero World Challenge Golf as well as the Hero Golf Challenge Events and the Hero Indian Open, will be the on air live telecast Partner on DSport.
One of the richest golf tours in the world, the top 19 tournaments of the 2019 season present a total prize money of $35mn with the DP World Tour Championship scheduled for November in Dubai, carrying a whopping $8mn prize purse.
Eight other tournaments will carry a purse of $5mn or more in prize money.
Among other top names of the golfing world who can be seen in live action besides those mentioned will be the likes of Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els and Thongchai Jaidee among others.
European Tour - Details of Top 19 Tournaments to be telecast on DSport are -
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eAuctions will now be based on a differential pricing to be determined by the genre (language) of channels. The auctions will take place on annual basis only
Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar on Tuesday evening announced that DD Free Dish will be resuming e-Auctions to allocate DTH slots based on a revised policy. However, the date of the auction is yet to be announced.
In a series of tweets Shekhar highlighted the key aspects of the new policy. Shekhar said that a key consideration of the new policy was “to increase the diversity of content available on DD Free Dish and to expand its reach across India especially within the non-Hindi speaking states.”
This new policy “aspires to increase diversity of content by providing for low entry price points - differential genre based pricing for MPEG2 slots and invitational pricing for MPEG4 slots,” he added.
He said that the new policy “makes it attractive for channels from a cash flow standpoint through better payment terms. This will ease the burden on channels while lowering the entry barrier for channels.”
Happy to share that DD Free Dish will be resuming e-Auctions to allocate DTH slots based on a revised policy. Thankful to the @prasarbharati board which cleared the new policy and to Secy @MIB_India for support to the same, under the guidance and leadership of HMoSIB @Ra_THORe.— Shashi Shekhar (@shashidigital) January 15, 2019
Here are the highlights:
- e-Auctions will be based on a differential pricing to be determined by the genre (language) of channels. Private broadcasters desirous of carriage on DD FreeDish will have to declare the same to be eligible to bid in eAuctions.
- e-Auctions will be held on annual basis for all vacant unreserved slots to ensure a stable bouquet of channels.
- To lower the entry barrier for genres (languages) that are currently under represented on DD Free Dish the differential pricing for slots is split into 5 disparate buckets as opposed to the 2 buckets based on which eAuctions were previously held.
- Different Genres (languages) have been grouped within these 5 buckets with differential reserve pricing for slots in respective buckets.
- To promote the new DD Free Dish authorised Set Top Boxes the new policy also envisages invitational pricing for channels to also take up MPEG4 slots in addition to the existing MPEG2 slots.
- The new policy also provides for reservation of MPEG4 slots for further regional channels of Doordarshan to have a dedicated satellite footprint. These stations/kendras currently operate in terrestrial mode in several states.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had suspended the e-auctioning of slots for DD Freedish in October 2017. The concern was that private broadcasters are harnessing the reach of Freedish to earn ad revenue.
Typically, Doordarshan conducts an e-auction multiple times a year to grant vacant channel slots on DD Freedish to private broadcasters. During the last such e-auction in July 2017, Doordarshan earned Rs 85.10 crore and awarded 11 slots to private broadcasters.
DD Free Dish DTH Platform according to latest market estimates has a base of 30 million households across India which is a significant rise over earlier estimates of about 22 million. Currently, DD Free Dish offers 72 channels and 39 radio channels. There were plans to this to 250 by the end of March 2018.
exchange4media Group Service
During the quarter, ZEEL’s EBITDA grew by 26.9 per cent YoY to Rs 7,543 million
Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) and its subsidiaries announced the unaudited consolidated financial results for the quarter ended Dec 31, 2018. For the third quarter of FY19, ZEEL reported consolidated revenue of Rs 21,668 million. Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) was Rs 7,543 million with an EBITDA margin of 34.8 per cent. PAT for the quarter was Rs 5,624 million.
Subhash Chandra, Chairman, ZEEL said, “India is poised to remain one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Decline in crude oil prices and rationalization of GST rates will further boost the economy and help maintain the growth momentum in consumption. Even in M&E space, content consumption is growing at a brisk pace across mediums. This trend along with macroeconomic tailwinds will drive growth in both advertising and subscription revenues. We have delivered yet another quarter of strong performance across all our businesses. ZEE5 is scaling up in line with our expectations and is on course to become India’s number one digital entertainment platform.”
Punit Goenka, Managing Director & CEO, ZEEL said, “I am really pleased with our performance this quarter which further strengthens our position as India’s leading entertainment content company. While our television business continues to consolidate its number one position, ZEE5 is quickly establishing itself as one of the leading digital entertainment platforms in the country. ZEE5 has already become the biggest producer of Indian content amongst the digital platforms and the content offering will multiply going forward. Our expanding list of partnerships with telecom operators and players in the digital eco-system, coupled with innovation in pricing, will make ZEE5 accessible to a wider audience.”
“With the launch of our Malayalam channel, Zee Keralam, ZEEL now has the widest footprint in country in terms of the languages covered. It will help us further consolidate our network share. Advertising outlook for the industry looks upbeat and we aim to outpace the industry growth on the back of our growing network share. After much delay, TRAI’s tariff order is now set to be implemented across the country next month. I reiterate that this is a positive step for the industry in the long term and will be beneficial for everyone. While it will take some time for the new system to settle, we are working with all our partners for its smooth implementation,” added Goenka.
- Total revenue for the quarter was Rs 21,668 million, growth of 17.9 per cent YoY. The growth was driven by the strong performance of broadcast business.
- During the quarter, ZEEL’s consolidated advertising revenue grew by 21.7 per cent YoY to Rs 14,626 million. The 20.6 per cent growth in domestic advertising revenue YoY to Rs 13,719 million was driven by the continued strong performance of television business and aided by the emerging digital business. The advertising demand continues to be strong across categories, reflecting positively on the advertising growth outlook. International advertising revenue grew by 40.2 per cent YoY to Rs 907 million due to stronger traction in Europe, US and APAC region.
- Subscription revenue for the quarter was Rs 6,185 million, growth of 23.3 per cent YoY. Domestic subscription revenue grew by 28.6 per cent YoY to Rs 5,192 million. International subscription revenue was Rs 993 million.
- EBITDA for the quarter grew by 26.9 per cent to Rs 7,543 million and EBITDA margin stood at 34.8 per cent.
- ZEE5 continues its strong growth recording 56.3 mn MAUs in the month of December, growth of 36 per cent over the last 3 months.
- ZEEL further strengthened its position as the #1 television entertainment network with an allIndia viewership share of 20.2 per cent.
- Zee Keralam and Zee Keralam HD launched in Kerala market making ZEEL the biggest television network with presence in 9 Indian language markets.
exchange4media Group Service
TV18 reported a 41% YoY jump in operating EBITDA to Rs 115 crores in Q3FY19
Network18 Media & Investments Limited and TV18 Broadcast Limited today announced its results for the quarter ended December 31, 2018.
Network18 reported an 18 per cent YoY jump in operating EBITDA to Rs 88 crores in Q3FY19, despite continuing investments into recent launches Colors Tamil and Colors Kannada Cinema. Operating revenue rose 20 per cent YoY led by advertising tailwinds, successful movies like ‘Andhadhun’, and healthy growth in subscription income. Operating leverage drove profitability, especially led by continued strong performance of regional channels across both our news and entertainment portfolios.
TV18 Broadcast Limited reported a 41 per cent YoY jump in operating EBITDA to Rs 115 crores in Q3FY19, despite continuing investments into recent launches Colors Tamil and Colors Kannada Cinema. Operating revenue rose 22 per cent YoY led by advertising tailwinds, successful movies like “Andhadhun”, and healthy growth in subscription income.
Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman of Network18, said, “Regional content consumption continues to see robust growth across all parts of the media industry that we play in, whether broadcasting or digital; and straddling news, entertainment and film. We continue to invest in digital with an eye on the future. We are extending our powerful brands across geographies, business models and mediums, to create the most compelling portfolio of properties in the opportunity-laden Indian media sector.”
Zainulbhai added, “TV18 has further solidified its leadership in as the top news player in the country, and our fast-growing entertainment portfolio is expanding our offerings as well as its core operating margins. Regional content consumption continues to be a key driver of growth across the board. We intend to continue investing to capture whitespaces and emerge as a leading, pipe-agnostic player in the broadcasting space.”
HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE QUARTER
The industry ad-environment was buoyant during the past quarter, though ad-spends were more concentrated around festive season and strong properties than previous years.
Broadcast subsidiary TV18 posted 22 per cent revenue growth on a comparable basis:
- Growing ad-spends in regional channels (news, led by regional elections; and entertainment, driven by rising consumption and value-perception) was a consistent theme for the TV18 channel portfolio.
- Subscription revenue for our entire bouquet grew 13 per cent YoY. Compelling bouquets have been created and advertised along with a-la-carte channel pricing, as per the new TRAI tariff order which promises to increase transparency in the broadcast value-chain.
News bouquet (20 channels) cemented its #1 position, with TV18’s viewership share in news rising to a highest-ever 11.5 per cent:
- News revenue grew at a robust 16 per cent. Regional news revenue grew 27 per cent YoY led by the viewership share of regional news cluster rising further to 6 per cent, vs 2.5 per cent two years ago.
- Hindi News channel News18 India solidified its #2 ranking, emerging as the primary engine of growth. The overall English news genre continued to face pressure.
- Business news channels maintained top positions amidst choppy markets.
Regional News losses have shrunk 68 per cent YoY to Rs 9 Cr: Rise in Government/ election-related ad spends substantially pruned gestation losses of 8 regional channels launched over FY15-17. Active cost control and efficiencies of scale also played a key role in reducing the drag.
Entertainment bouquet (Viacom18’s 31 channels + AETN18’s 4 infotainment channels) is #3 amongst national players, with share of entertainment viewership maintained at 11.2 per cent:
- Entertainment portfolio revenue grew 23 per cent YoY. As stated in previous quarters, some high value-and-impact Hindi GEC programming at Viacom18 was strategically shifted from H1 to H2, to coincide with market-appetite. This has resulted in improved topline growth, and has expectedly also partially limited the margin-expansion for the quarter. The Movie production and distribution revenue under Viacom18 motion pictures was Rs 106 Cr, versus a low base of Rs 20 Cr in Q3FY18.
(restated for current structure of ownership) Q3FY19 Q3FY18 Growth 9mFY19 9mFY18 Growth Consolidated Operating Revenue (Rs Cr) 1,524 1,267 20% 3,885 3,430 13% Consolidated Operating EBITDA (Rs Cr) 88 75 18% 200 134 49 per cent)
- Regional entertainment channels continued their viewership and monetisation improvements across most of our geographies.
Business-as-usual margins continued to rise: Entertainment EBITDA includes operating loss of Rs 31 Cr on account of new initiatives - Colors Tamil (launched in mid-Q4FY18) and Colors Kannada Cinema (launched in late-Q2FY19). Adjusting for operating losses of these new initiatives (i.e. launches made over past 4 quarters), BAU margins for Entertainment grew to 8.3 per cent from 6.4 per cent in Q3FY18. Entertainment EBITDA also encapsulates investments into projects planned for launch in coming quarters, as well as properties that were launched more than 1 year ago but are still under gestation.
Network18 digital content properties reach 24 per cent of total news consumption audience:
- Network18’s digital revenues from prime properties MoneyControl, News18 & Firstpost grew 27 per cent YoY to Rs 45 Cr in Q3. Other businesses including content production and print dragged overall revenue growth.
- Operating margin fell due to investments in revamp and extension of MoneyControl and Firstpost brands. While MoneyControl took initial steps to venture into transactions (mutual fund distribution) with the launch of MC Transact; Firstpost will soon be extended to discerning Print audiences through a weekly news-edition.
- Cricket portal CricketNext (#3 portal in India) was relaunched with a dedicated app.
- Traffic on Regional News content on News18.com rose 55 per cent, indicating the rising strength of the brand and the tailwinds in vernacular consumption in digital too, alongside broadcasting.
Leading entertainment ticketing platform BookMyShow entered into Live event production with world’s largest live entertainment company Cirque Du Soleil with their newest production show ‘Bazzar’. The show which was held for the first time in India in Nov-Dec18 at Mumbai & Delhi got an overwhelming response.
The scheme of arrangement for the merger by absorption of wholly-owned direct and indirect subsidiaries of Network18 and TV18 with the respective parent has been approved by the National Company Law Tribunal (Mumbai bench). The scheme has become effective from November 1, 2018, the appointed date being April 1, 2016. Accordingly, comparatives have been restated to include the financials of the transferor companies. The income-tax provision for the current quarter and nine months ended December 31, 2018 includes the impact of merger.
exchange4media Group Service