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ZEEL limits sports biz loss in FY15 to Rs 26.6 cr

MUMBAI: In the absence of live India-specific cricket series, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) has managed to cut its losses from the sports business significantly in the financial year ended 31 March 2015.

For the full fiscal, the operating loss from the sports business stood at just Rs 26.6 crore (Rs 266 million) even as the first and the fourth quarters of the fiscal remained EBITDA-positive.

Sports revenues fell 4.35 per cent to Rs 631.3 crore (Rs 6.31 billion) in FY15, from Rs 660 crore (Rs 6.60 billion) a year ago.

However, the company has guided that losses from sports business would be in range of Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) in FY16 due to India cricket series.

In the previous fiscal, ZEEL had posted an operating loss of Rs 97.5 crore (Rs 975 million) from sports business and had guided for a loss of under Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) in FY15 as it was expecting lower programming costs in the absence of India-specific cricket on its sports channels.

Sports biz profitable in Q4

ZEEL’s sports business reported a profit of Rs 24.2 crore (Rs 242 million) for the quarter ended 31 March 2015.

The sport segment delivered revenue of Rs 168 crore (Rs 1.68 billion), while expenses stood at Rs 143.8 crore (Rs 1.44 billion).

Zee sports biz FY15

ZEEL’s sports broadcast business includes subsidiary Taj Television, which owns and operates Ten Sports, Ten Cricket, Ten Action, Ten Golf and Ten HD.

ZEEL has clarified that new domestic cricket league would not be part of the network and will be under parent company Essel Group. Earlier also, Subhash Chandra-promote Indian Cricket League (ICL) was not part of ZEEL. “When a similar domestic league was done by Essel, it did not have any impact on Zee ad was a pass through,” a ZEEL official clarified.

Properties in FY15

Q1: West Indies vs New Zealand cricket series, Wrestlemania, and UEFA Europa League

Q2: Sri Lanka vs South Africa cricket series, Pakistan vs Sri Lanka cricket series, West Indies vs Sri Lanka cricket series, Commonwealth Games 2014, US Open, and Tour De France

Q3: Pakistan vs Australia, Pakistan vs New Zealand, and Sri Lanka vs England cricket series, UEFA Champions League, Asian Games 2014, WWE Survivor Series, FIH Champions Trophy, and ATP World Tour finals

Q4: South Africa vs West Indies cricket series, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, A-League, Sky Bet Championship, WWE Raw, WWE Specials, and MotoGP.

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