Malayalam news channel 24 News to launch on 8 Dec

MUMBAI: Insight Media City, the owner of Malayalam GEC Flowers TV, is all set to launch its Malayalam news channel 24 News on 8 December at 7 am. The channel launch is being promoted through TV and digital platforms.

Being a late mover in the market, 24 will have to contend with competition from established TV news brands like Asianet News, Manorama News, Mathrubhumi News, News18 Kerala, Jaihind TV, People TV, Reporter TV, and Janam TV.

TelevisionPost.com had reported in May that the company has planned a Capex of Rs 166 crore over the next three years for expansion. The Capex is expected to be funded through equity of Rs. 74 crore and debt of Rs. 92 crore.

The group plans to expand its operations in two phases over the next three years. The first phase would include setting up of a studio for ‘24’, purchase of cameras and other equipment. The second phase would include construction of Media College.

During 9M FY18, the company reported a total income of 71.64 crore on the back of strong performance by Flowers. During FY17 Insight’s total income grew by 117% year-on-year to Rs. 50 crore in FY17 from Rs. 22.99 crore in FY16.

The group reported a net loss of Rs. 36.97 cr in FY16 which reduced to Rs.21.24 cr in FY17.

The group has been able to establish itself as an established player in the Malayalam GEC space during a span of past three years. The promoters have brought in about Rs. 158.37 crore in the form of equity into the group as on 16 March 2018.

Insight Media City India was founded by a group of investors during March 2013 with the aim of putting up a media city in Kochi. The media city will have five Strategic Business Units (SBUs) TV channels, movies and FM radio, expo and events, education and digital & synergy (marketing) SBU.

The company runs its TV broadcasting business through wholly-owned-subsidiary Suryansh Broadcasting.

Insight Media City MD Sreekandan Nair is a well-renowned television personality with over three decades of experience in the space. The senior management consists of people with long experience in the industry having worked with various other TV broadcasting companies.

Recently, the company was assigned BB+ rating by Care Ratings. The rating agency noted that the long-term bank facilities of Insight Media City (India) is constrained by its short track record of operations, limited demographic presence with one regional General Entertainment Channel (GEC) and weak liquidity profile marked by continuing cash losses and elongated collection period.

The ratings also factor in the proposed capex plans of the group which would be partially debt funded.

The rating, however, derives comfort from the presence of resourceful promoters & experienced management team and established position of the group’s GEC, ‘Flowers’ in the Malayalam television space.

Going forward, the ability of the group to sustain growth in its revenue while improving its profitability levels and timely completion of its proposed capex plans & derive benefits from the same would be the key rating sensitivities.

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