Q1 FY20: Network18 Media sees 11% revenue growth; TV18 records 10% increase

The network said New Tariff Order implementation pains have smoothened as the value-chain adjusts to the new regime, and their subscription income has received a boost

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jul 16, 2019 3:04 PM

Network18 Media & Investments Limited has announced its results for the quarter ended 30th June 2019. The Q1FY20 revenues grew 11% YoY amidst a weak advertising environment, led by election advertising and strong growth in subscription income post implementation of new tariff order (NTO). EBITDA jumped sharply on operating leverage accentuated by cost controls.

The Consolidated Operating Revenue of Q1FY20 stood at Rs 1,245 crore, registering a growth of 11% from Rs 1,124 crore in Q1FY19. The Consolidated Operating EBITDA is Rs 46 crore, 137% higher than Rs 19 crore recorded in Q1FY19.

TV18 Broadcast Limited’s Q1FY20 revenues grew 10% YoY. The Consolidated Operating Revenue stood at Rs 1,198 crore in Q1FY20, registering a 10% growth from 1,088 in Q1FY20. The Consolidated Operating EBITDA stood at Rs 77 crore, a rise of 96% from Rs 39 crore in Q1FY19.

Some highlights mentioned by the network in a statement are:

  • The ad-environment has been tepid, led by advertisers paring spends amidst weak markets/macro/regulatory flux, and concentration of advertising around sports. However, news (both broadcast and digital) benefitted from election-related advertising during the quarter. We expect the environment to pivot as we head into the festive season.
  • New Tariff Order (NTO) implementation pains have smoothened as the value-chain adjusts to the new regime, and our subscription income has received a boost. Nevertheless, some flux in distribution and viewership is lingering, which we expect to taper away in the near term. As consumers make their pack/channel choices, we believe that strong content propositions and distinctive brands will continue to gain traction. Our bouquet is well-placed to benefit, through leading channels and improved distribution tie-ups.
  • Shift of Free-to-Air (FTA) Hindi general entertainment channels out of the DD Freedish platform and conversion to Pay has impacted viewership (and consequently ad-monetisation) for those channels. All top 4 broadcasters have faced a drop of 2-5% viewership and consequent revenues. Similarly, viewership share for our Hindi news channel (as well as some others) which have chosen to be Pay has been impacted, versus peers which have chosen to be FTA. We continue to maintain portfolio ranks vs even FTA peers, despite being a pay network.
  • News bouquet (20 channels) maintained its #1 position. TV18’s Q1 viewership share in news was 10.1%, up from 9.3% post NTO implementation. Election ad-spends and subscription boost drove revenue: General news revenues were buoyed by election related advertising, especially in Hindi. Business news revenue growth has continued to face genre pressures due to weak markets.  Sharp turnaround in EBITDA: Overall, from an EBITDA loss last year, Q1FY20 has seen a major leap in profitability. This has been driven by election-advertising as well as continued reduction in Regional News gestation losses, on operating leverage as well as cost controls.
  • Entertainment bouquet (Viacom18’s 32 channels + AETN18’s 4 infotainment channels) is #3 amongst national players: TV18’s entertainment Q1 viewership share was 9.1%. Post NTO and shift from Freedish, aggregate viewership share of top 4 broadcasters (including sports impact) have fallen by 9% to 55%. Major events driving Sports viewership have also contributed to this decline during Q1.

Entertainment revenue rose 5% amidst weakness in overall ad-spends and a sharp reduction in ad-revenue of channels shifted from FTA to Pay. Niche genres witnessed robust growth, underscoring our strength in Kids and Youth genres, and the virtues of a full portfolio offering.


Regional entertainment channels in Marathi, Gujarati and Kannada movies gained strength. Following up on the launch of regional movie channel Colors Kannada Cinema last quarter, we launched Colors Gujarati Cinema to further cement our portfolio leadership in these regions, and sweat our movie library better.


Improved subscription income and cost controls raised EBITDA 40% YoY: Operating loss of new initiatives (regional movie channels and VOOT expansions) was Rs 11 Cr for Q1. Adjusting for these, BAU EBITDA was Rs 68 Cr, up 66% YoY. BAU margins for Entertainment grew to 7.5% from 4.8% in Q1FY19.


Network18 digital is #2 in digital news / information category with 166 mn unique visitos
Network18 digital revenues grew 34% YoY to Rs 47 crore. Growing ad-spends in News18.com (especially vernacular) boosted revenues amidst a tepid environment. Operating margin fell due to losses of FirstPost Print and marketing of CricketNext around IPL and the Cricket World Cup (Rs 6 Cr in total), revamp of IN.com, and extension of MoneyControl into subscription models.The rising strength of the News18.com brand and the tailwinds in vernacular consumption have helped News18 languages grow at an industry-leading pace, with 46% QoQ rise in viewership. Ø During the quarter, HomeShop (erstwhile HomeShop18, an independently-operated associate of Network18) had raised a fresh round of funding from a new investor. The existing investors including Network18 did not participate in the round; and thereby got diluted to an insignificant minority and HomeShop ceased to be an associate of Network18 effective 6th June 2019. Exceptional items for the quarter ended 30th June, 2019 represents impairment of investments in Homeshop. Network18 has since then sold the residual shareholding, thus completely exiting Homeshop.


Commenting on Network 18 results, Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman of Network18 & TV18, said, “Amidst a challenging advertising environment and the implementation of a new tariff regime, we have continued to focus on creating great content for all media. Our regional portfolio continues to grow across both broadcasting and digital, and we believe that the connect our growing brands enjoy with the diverse Indian populace shall stand us in good stead.”

On TV18, Zainulbhai said, “Our channel brands have witnessed a strong uptake in the new tariff regime which places the consumer even more at the center of the broadcasting business model. Class-leading value, genre-defining content and a pipe-agnostic approach are the tenets which we believe will continue to propel our portfolio forward.”

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