ABP News Network set to expand its presence in regional markets

MUMBAI: News broadcaster ABP News Network (ANN) is all set to expand its presence in the regional news market with the launch of new channels. The broadcaster has five new TV channel licences from the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) in recent.

ANN has received licences under the names ABP Andhra, ABP Ganga, ABP Kannada, ABP Sanjha and ABP Tamil. The news broadcaster will begin its expansion with the launch of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand focussed channel ABP Ganga. This channel is slated to launch on 15th April and will also be available on DD Free Dish.

The channel has also revived plans to launch a Punjabi news channel ABP Sanjha. The channel’s launch was shelved at the last minute more than five years. ABP Sanjha is available on digital platforms and has also launched in Canada.

For the first time, ANN will also be stepping into the Southern market. It is planning to launch channels for Tamil, Kannada and Telugu markets with ABP Andhra (Telugu), ABP Kannada, and ABP Tamil.

Currently, ANN’s footprint is restricted to Hindi heartland, Marathi, Bengali and Gujarati with ABP News, ABP Majha, ABP Bengali, and ABP Asmita.

ABP Asmita was the first major launch by the company in seven and a half years after the launch of ABP Majha in 2007. It was also the first channel launch post Star’s exit from the company, which was earlier known as Media Content and Communications System (MCCS).

The company’s cost is expected to go up due to the launch of the new channel in the short-term. However, the company is also expecting additional revenue from the launch of the new channel.

As reported earlier by TelevisionPost.com, news broadcaster ABP News Network’s net profit for the fiscal ended 31st March 2018 has gone up 61% due to a strong performance by Hindi and Bengali news channels ABP News and ABP Ananda.

The company’s net profit has jumped to Rs 48.99 crore in FY18 from Rs 30.36 crore in the year ago period. The profit before interest lease depreciation and tax (PBILDT) was up at Rs 95.56 crore from Rs 79.77 crore.

The PBILDT margin witnessed improvement in FY18 on account of increase in ad rates in ABP News and ABP Ananda on account of their established position in their respective genres supported by a marginal reduction in operating losses incurred in new ventures.

Higher PBILDT level primarily coupled with a decline in the capital charge led to an improvement in the PAT margin in FY18. The cash accruals of the company remained satisfactory at Rs 66 crore vis-à-vis term debt repayment obligation of Rs 11.25 crore in FY18.

With an improvement in the profitability level of the company, the net-worth position of the company recovered. Strong cash-flow from established channels (ABP News and ABP Ananda) supported the loss from newer ventures, repayment of term debt and other obligation in FY18 and Q1 FY19.

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