RIL announces strategic investment in Den Networks, Hathway Cable and Datacom

Transaction to accelerate JioGigaFiber rollout to 50 million homes across 1,100 cities

exchange4media Staff 17-October-2018

MukeshAmbani

Reliance Industries Limited (“RIL) has announced the following strategic investments:

(a) Primary investment of Rs. 2,045 crore through a preferential issue under SEBI regulations and secondary purchase of Rs. 245 crore from the existing promoters for a 66% stake in Den Networks Limited (“DEN”)

(b) Primary investment of Rs. 2,940 crore through a preferential issue under SEBI  regulations for a 51.3% stake in Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited (“Hathway”) RIL would also make open offers in DEN and Hathway as well as for the following companies as required under SEBI Takeover Regulations:

(a) GTPL Hathway Limited, a company jointly controlled by Hathway with 37.3% stake

(b) Hathway Bhawani Cabletel and Datacomm Limited, a subsidiary of Hathway

Reliance is privileged to partner with the Rajan Raheja Group, one of the most respected business houses in India, and Shri Sameer Manchanda, a first generation entrepreneur, who have created strong businesses through their business acumen and perseverance. Reliance has the highest regard for the management teams in the respective companies and will work with them to further strengthen and improve business operations.

These strategic investments are in furtherance of Reliance’s mission of connecting everyone and everything, everywhere – always at the highest quality and the most affordable price and transforming India’s digital landscape. After having taken India to the top position in the mobile broadband space, Reliance is now committed to taking India from a global rank of 135th to among the top-3 countries in the world on wireline digital connectivity.

These investments and partnerships will create a win-win outcome for the Local Cable Operators (LCOs), Consumers, Content providers, and overall eco-system.

Local Cable Operators: Over the last 25 years, India has connected about 175 million homes with basic coaxial cable technology. This has been made possible because of the efforts of hundreds of thousands of LCOs, who operate in every neighborhood of our country. However, the LCOs have been steadily losing market share because of increasing competition from alternate technologies like Direct-To-Home (“DTH”). In fact, DTH operators have weaned away over 60 million homes from cable operators who have remained basic TV service providers. With this trend, both the LCO business model and the MSOs are under stress.

Through this transaction, Reliance and Jio will be strengthening the 27,000 LCOs that are aligned with DEN and Hathway to enable them to participate in the digital transformation of India through (a) access to superior back-end infrastructure; (b) tie-ups with content producers; (c) access to latest business platforms to improve business efficiencies and deliver customer experience; and (d) investment in digital infrastructure for connecting customers. And the LCOs will continue to do what they do best – provide localized, intimate, people-friendly and ultra-fast customer services. This will create multiple future opportunities for LCOs as Jio rolls out new services and platforms.

Consumers: In developed countries, more than 95% of homes having a TV also enjoy a fixed-line broadband Internet connection. And fixed-line connectivity in advanced nations is increasingly based on fiber optics. Reliance is committed to bringing similar infrastructure and connectivity for every Indian home, working with all participants in the ecosystem including the large and entrepreneurial LCO, content producers and broadcasters.

Jio shall bring JioGigaFiber to more than 50 million homes across 1,100 Indian cities and towns, in the shortest possible time. JioGigaFiber will offer:

a) Ultra High Definition Entertainment on large screen TVs

b) Multi-Party Video Conferencing from the comfort of everyone’s living room

c) Artificial Intelligence, in the form of voice-activated virtual assistants, who obey every command of the consumer

d) Virtual Reality Gaming and Digital Shopping in a magical universe of immersive experiences

e) Smart-Home Solutions, where hundreds of devices like security cameras, home appliances, even lights, and switches, can be securely controlled by their owners, from both inside and outside their homes

f) Fixed Mobile Convergence, to offer end-to-end services on an integrated network

Consumers in India will have access to best-in-class services at par with the rest of the world. Content Providers: These investments and the creation of the digital eco-system will open up new channels for content monetization. This will lead to exponential growth for the content producers and broadcasters.

Eco-system: These investments will help in accelerating the march towards Digital India. Reliance will ensure compliance with all the regulatory and statutory requirements at all times and works towards the systematic growth of the sector. Jio has already started work on connecting 50 million homes across 1,100 cities. It will work together with Hathway and DEN and all the LCOs to offer a quick and affordable upgrade to a world-class lineup of JioGigaFiber and Jio Smart-Home Solutions to the 24 million existing cable connected homes of these companies across 750 cities. This will accelerate Jio’s commitment to connect 50 million homes with JioGigaFiber in the shortest possible Time.

Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, RIL commented, “We are glad to join hands with Shri Rajan Raheja and Shri Sameer Manchanda, two of the pioneers in the MSO industry. Our investments in DEN and Hathway create a win-win-win outcome for the LCOs, customers, content producers, and the eco-system. With Local Cable Operators now as part of the Jio ecosystem, we look forward to bringing Jio’s advanced JioGigaFiber and Smart Home Solutions to more Indian homes, even quicker. We look forward to welcoming other MSOs and LCOs to be part of this partnership. This will result in growing wireline data connectivity in India and making state-of-the-art high-speed affordable internet and digital services accessible to the widest population in the shortest possible time.”

 

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New e-auction policy will be a win-win for all: Shashi Shekhar Vempati, Prasar Bharati

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

Ruhail Amin 5 hours ago

Shashi Shekhar Vempati

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.

Edited excerpts:

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.

@columbia Drop Out, @e4mtweets, @BWorldOnline... Past @timesnow, @htTweets, @timesofindia

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BARC Week 2: Sony leads Urban Market

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)

exchange4media Staff 20 hours ago

BARClogo

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.

Urban Market

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.

Rural Market

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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ZEE announces attractive launch offer on Zee Family Packs

The Zee Family Pack offers 23 channels now at an attractive launch offer of only Rs. 39* per month

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

ZEELlogo

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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&PrivéHD brings new show featuring real-life stories from BBC library

‘Privé Unscripted’ to have shows on Obama, Trump, Weinstein, Bin Laden & others; premier on January 21 at 11pm

exchange4media Staff 5 hours ago

&Prive

&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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DSPORT to telecast marquee European tour events in India

The association tees-off with the live broadcast of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship scheduled from January 16-19, 2019

exchange4media Staff 1 day ago

DSport

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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DD Free Dish e-Auctions to resume based on new policy

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

exchange4media Staff 2 days ago

DD Free Dish

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.”

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. 

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ZEEL Q3FY19 results: Consolidated advertising revenue grew by 21.7% YoY

During the quarter, ZEEL’s EBITDA grew by 26.9 per cent YoY to Rs 7,543 million

exchange4media Staff 2 days ago

ZEEL

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. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 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. 

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Network18 Q3FY19 results reported 18% YoY jump in EBITDA

TV18 reported a 41% YoY jump in operating EBITDA to Rs 115 crores in Q3FY19

exchange4media Staff 2 days ago

Network 18

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. 

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Marvel HQ, the TV channel for your all-day superhero fix

Marvel HQ, a first-of-its-kind TV destination for all things Marvel

exchange4media Staff 2 days ago

MarvelHQ

Disney XD, the children's television channel belonging to Disney India Media Networks, has a new avatar. The channel has been rebranded to Marvel HQ, the first-ever Marvel branded television destination in the world. Marvel HQ, an HD channel, is set to go live on January 20.  

“We believe it was time to have a home for all things Marvel. Marvel, which is now a pop-culture phenomenon does very well across every single age group and geography. We see this in the response we get to our theatrical releases, consumer products, and television series as well. Hence, the birth of Marvel HQ,” said Devika Prabhu, Executive Director, and Head- Product, Media Networks, Disney India. She said that the idea was to create and curate a special Marvel experience for the viewers.  

About 40% of Marvel HQ’s programming will be dedicated to Marvel’s super-heroes, villains, and their epic adventures. “We have animation series such as Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble, Hulk and the Agents of SMASH, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc.” The big tentpole events for this channel will unfold during the summer, just in time to catch the attention of children in the age group nine and above. “In the summer we will introduce four new series: Marvel Future Avenger, a new series on Black Panther (Black Panther’s Quest), Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors, and Marvel Disk wars,” said Prabhu. In addition to the Marvel animation series, Marvel movies will also reside at Marvel HQ. 

The promise of this channel is going to be “action, adventure, and content that reinforces Marvel brand values,” said Prabhu explaining how the content and programming on the channel will see a shift following the rebranding. “All the content on the channel will focus on optimism, heroism, friendship, and teamwork which are all Marvel brand values. Whatever content we get that complements our Marvel brand values is what we will schedule on the channel,” Prabhu added. For example, shows like Pokemon, Big Hero 6, Digimon, and Beyblade which are not part of the Marvel universe but have the same themes as Marvel content will be broadcast on the channel. 

Prabhu said that turning Disney XD into Marvel HQ does not limit the scope of the channel and its programming. “The content and characters in the Marvel universe are already appealing to a large audience,” she said. 

Marvel HQ will have multiple audio feeds in four languages - English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu. “We will have the same series available in these four languages and I do not think any other channel can make that offering right now.”
While Marvel HQ is first being offered in India, this model will be replicated elsewhere depending on the market demand in other geographies. “Marvel HQ fits very well with the plan that The Walt Disney Company has for Marvel in India. It gives us another extension to reach out to our consumers on Marvel.” 

And finally, Prabhu says that the advertisers’ interest in this channel matches the typical excitement people have for Marvel. “Whenever we approach our partners for any association for Marvel we always have a great response,” she said. 

 

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South TV channels line up special programmes for Pongal 

Blockbusters like ‘Saamy 2’, ‘VadaChennai’ to be part of the festive line-up

Neethu Mohan 3 days ago

pongal

The South Indian TV channels have arranged a visual feast for the audience for Makar Sankranti, also known as Thai Pongal in Tamil Nadu. 

Vijay Television has an array of programmes starting right from 6.30am with ‘Saravana Meenkashi VS Raja Rani- The Pongal War’, a cookery show. 

The channel will also broadcast blockbuster movies, Vikram and Keerthy Suresh starrer ‘Saamy 2’. ‘Pariyerum Perumal’, one of the sleeper hits of 2018, will also be telecast on Tuesday.

On 16th January, an entertainment show ‘Mamiyar Marumagal’ will be broadcast on Vijay Television. A talk show by actor Sivakumar on Tamil actor Shivaji Ganeshan ‘Sivakumarin Shivaji Oru Sagaptham’ will also be telecast. 

Dhanush starrer gangster film ‘VadaChennai’, ‘Kadaikutty Singam’, romantic comedy ‘Manam’ are few other movies that will be aired on Vijay Television as part of the Pongal celebrations. 

Zee Tamil has also lined up special programmes for Pongal. Tamil techno-thriller ‘Irumbuthirai’ will be aired on the channel on Tuesday. 

World Television Premiere of Vijay Sethupathi starrer ‘Junga’ will also be telecast on Zee Tamil. Super hit movies like ‘Kolamavu Kokila’ and ‘Mersal’ will too be broadcast on Zee Tamil. 

Tamil GEC market leader Sun TV also has lined up a festival feast for the audience. They will be broadcasting Dhanush-Kajol starrer ‘VIP-2’, Vishal starrer ‘Sandakozhi -2’ and other special programmes for Pongal.

Neethu reports on media, marketing and advertising industry. In the past she has reported on start-ups, education and health sector for over 6 years.

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