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Times Network to broaden MagicBricks Now as real estate takes a nosedive
MUMBAI: With the real estate sector caught in a downward spiral in the wake of demonetisation, Times Network is broadening the content offering of its real estate-focused news channel MagicBricks Now to make it a stronger offering.
Launched on 1 November 2015, MagicBricks Now targets NCCS A and B viewers aged 25–37 and 38–50 years. The content of the channel has been around real estate sector and allied issues concerning home buyers.
Following the slowdown in the real estate sector, the channel has broadened its content offering to include civic issues like infrastructure, health, law and order, and politics.
“We are doing some tinkering with MagicBricks Now by broadening the channel. We have already broadened it by including civic issues in the coverage and not purely real estate,” Times Network MD and CEO MK Anand told TelevisionPost.com.
Anand, however, noted that the move is purely due to the mess in the real estate and not because of the performance.
“MagicBricks Now’s viewership has been increasing and it is four times of what we had expected. Financially also, it is absolutely on target. Real estate had been in a tailspin already and after demonetisation, it is in such a bad place that I am not very sure whether it makes sense to dedicate a channel entirely to that,” he elucidated.
At the time of the channel’s launch, Anand had said that the channel would break-even operationally in four or five months.
He also noted that demonetisation had wiped away 15–20 per cent growth from the network’s ad revenue due to the cut in marketing spends by FMCG companies, who are the biggest spenders on TV channels.
“On a target basis, we have lost 20 per cent in the last 3–4 months. We have been growing at a CAGR of about 25–30 per cent for the last three years. At the end of this fiscal year, our growth will be about 7–10 per cent,” Anand noted.
For the next fiscal year, Anand expects growth to pick; however, it will be slower than what the company has achieved in the last three years.
“Things will come back to normal in the Q3 of the next fiscal, which means that we would have lost 15–20 per cent growth. We are expecting a growth of 15–18 per cent in the next financial year,” he added.
According to him, the recovery will be faster if the urban populace starts using less cash as it will ensure availability of cash to people in the hinterland.
Next financial year’s growth will also come from Movies Now 2 and the HD channels MN+, Romedy Now HD and Movies Now 2 HD. These channels are expected to bring in new revenue for the TV network.
“We have new channels that are getting mature and give us new revenue. Movies Now 2 has been a great success for us. It has gone ahead of HBO and we are aiming to get it in the top 3. Then there is the entire HD bouquet that includes MN+, Movies Now HD, Romedy Now HD and Movies Now 2 HD, which will give us decent revenue,” he stated.
The company is planning to launch the HD version of Times Now in Q1. “We should be definitely launching it by Q1. We are waiting for final clearances from the technical team to go ahead,” Anand stated.