Network18 consolidated operating revenue stands at Rs 1474 crore in Q3 FY20

While advertising recovered around the festive season, weakness in macro-environment and sluggish spending by advertisers continued to drag ad revenue down YoY for both News and Entertainment

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jan 14, 2020 5:24 PM
Network18

Network18 Media & Investments Limited has announced its results for the quarter and nine months ended 31st December 2019. 

Highlights for the quarter:

Linear TV subscription benefits (B2C) continue to accrue; 40% YoY revenue growth in Q3: implementation of the NTO (New Tariff Order) has created a transparent and non-discriminatory B2C regime, which continues to boost our TV subscription revenue. Improved distribution tie-ups across cable and telcos have brought the consumer closer to our class-leading content bouquet at an affordable optimum price.

Monetisation of content through digital partnerships (B2B) driving step-up in profitability: In line with our strategy of being platform agnostic, the group stitched multiple partnerships with notable digital platforms for serving their users a discerning selection of our content.

Advertising recovered around the festive season, but continued to remain under pressure: The prevalent weakness in macro-environment and sluggish spending appetite by advertisers continued to drag ad-revenue down YoY for both News and Entertainment. The shift of channels from DD Freedish to Pay ecosystem continues to impact Hindi GEC ad-revenues for all the top broadcasters. Government initiatives to boost growth and a natural refresh-and-recalibration of ad-budgets should revive ad-growth as we head towards the new fiscal.

Digital-only subscription (B2C) being incubated as a growth driver for the future: The recently launched subscription offering MoneyControl Pro continued its growth momentum, with subscriber base crossing over 1 lakh. Kids edutainment product Voot Kids progressed to a commercial launch with promotional plans. Voot’s freemium version with offerings like digital- exclusive and digital-first broadcast content as well as original content behind a pay-wall is slated to be launched soon.

News bouquet (20 channels) is #1 by reach and viewership market-share.

TV18’s Q3 average viewership share in the news was 10.2%, down from 10.9% in Q2. The bouquet regained the #1 viewership ranking by the end of the quarter.

Q3 operating revenue for News was near-flat YoY. Headwinds for the BFSI sector,  weak government spends, and limited international advertising compared with last year dragged growth. Q3FY20 Q3FY19 Growth 9mFY20 9mFY19 Growth Consolidated Operating Revenue (Rs Cr) 1,474 1,524 -3% 3,893 3,885 0% Consolidated Operating EBITDA (Rs Cr) 268 88 204% 392 200 96% Network18 Q3 FY20 Investor Update- 14th January 2020.

Entertainment bouquet (Viacom18’s 32 channels + AETN18’s 4 infotainment channels) is #3 amongst national players: TV18 group’s Q3 entertainment viewership share rose to 10.1%, vs 9.2% last quarter. Content partnerships, Subscription growth and substantial cost controls boosted EBITDA.

Growth in annuity-style revenue filled in for the temporary dip in cyclical advertising revenue: Ex-film Entertainment revenue was flat YoY. Content monetization through partnership deals in both B2B and B2C helped offset the decline in broadcast advertising.

In sync with the ad-environment, operating costs were streamlined. Both quantum and cost of programming were tweaked for efficiency, and focus was maintained on key shows. The success of marquee shows like Bigg Boss and Naagin pushed Colors back to the top of the charts.

Continued investments in future growth engines: Investments to the tune of Rs 13 cr in regional movie channels (Kannada and Gujarati Cinema) and subscription-offerings (VOOT Kids, Freemium & International) were made during Q3. EBITDA includes the impact from initiatives launched more than a year ago but are in gestation, including Voot and Colors Tamil.

Network18 digital is #2 in digital news/information category, has ~207 mn unique visitors.

Digital revenues were impacted by weak ad-environment. However, sharp display advertising growth in News18.com vernacular was witnessed, alluding to the growth potential at the intersection of regional and digital media. Digital losses reduced sharply, led by a focus on operating cost reductions.

Speaking on the development, Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman of Network18, said: “Across broadcasting and digital, our emphasis has been on delivering value to the consumer, expanding the partner ecosystem and raising profitability. We are constantly adjusting our programming and business model for the continual technology, consumer and regulatory changes in the business. We continue to invest in key areas of growth, expand our reach, and explore new avenues of monetization.”

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