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ZEEL’s sports biz loss to stay in Rs 1 bn range in FY15

MUMBAI: Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) turned around its sports business in the fiscal fourth quarter but has guided for a loss under Rs 1 billion in FY15 as it will have lower programming costs in absence of live India-specific cricket series on its sports channels.

In the fiscal ended 31 March 2014, ZEEL reported a loss of Rs 97.5 crore (Rs 975 million) from its sports business.

atul dasWith no India-specific cricket series to air, sports losses are expected to be in the similar range as last year’s.

“The sports business profit in the fiscal fourth quarter does not indicate that the loss situation will end in FY15. We had a loss of Rs 97.5 crore from our sports business in the fiscal ended 31 March 2014. We expect sports business losses in FY15 to be in the same range,” ZEEL chief corporate development officer Atul Das told TelevisionPost.com.

The sports business leapt into profitability in the fourth quarter due to global syndication revenues from the West Indies-England cricket series. ZEEL holds the global media rights for the West Indies cricket board. Incidentally, this is ZEEL’s first quarter of profit from its sports business in the past four years.

ZEEL’s sports business reported a profit of Rs 35.1 crore (Rs 351 million) for the quarter ended 31 March 2014. The sport segment delivered revenue of Rs 195.9 crore (Rs 1.96 billion) while expenses stood at Rs 160.8 crore (Rs 1.61 billion).

During the quarter, ZEEL telecast a host of sporting events including the South Africa vs Australia cricket series, West Indies vs England cricket series, Ram Slam T20 Challenge, Hockey World League and UEFA Champions League – Round of 16.

In the fiscal ended 31 March 2014, sports revenue stood at Rs 660 crore (Rs 6.6 billion), up 18 per cent from the earlier year.

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

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