TV18 will continue to invest across segments, improve profitability: Adil Zainulbhai

MUMBAI: TV18 Broadcast chairman Adil Zainulbhai has said that the company will continue to invest across television and digital segments to ringfence growth. He also said that the company will work towards improving profitability amid changes in TV broadcasting and digital landscapes.

“We remain committed to invest across segments and stitch partnerships across the media value-chain, so as to ringfence growth and leadership, derive synergies of scale and cost, and improve profitability in the medium-term,” TV18 chairman Adil Zainulbhai has been quoted as saying the company’s annual report for FY18-19.

He also noted that FY19 has been a year of unprecedented change for the TV and digital media industry. Despite changes, TV18 and its group companies emerged stronger with a pipe-agnostic content strategy.

“Amidst a new regulatory regime in broadcasting, rising competitive intensity in digital and an ad-environment that ebbed and flowed, we are happy to have emerged stronger and having reinforced our consumer connect. A strong and pipe-agnostic content strategy, innovations in programming formats, and a focus on building robust platforms have been the keys to our success. We have continued to enhance our reputation as the premier multi-platform destination for the objective, cutting-edge news, and entertainment that pushes the envelope,” Zainulbhai added.

The TV18 chairman also said that the broadcaster reaches 80 crore Indians through its 55 domestic TV channels. This, 1 in 2 Indians are consumers of TV18’s broadcast content.

Reflecting on the fiscal gone by, Zainulbhai added, “The past year was defined by regional content consumption and monetisation across news, entertainment and digital. Our portfolio of channels and digital properties reaches consumers in 15 languages across 26 states. Building on our position as India’s top media house with unparalleled reach, we touch the lives of Indians across geographies and genres every day, speaking in their own language.”

He also said that the company’s news, as well as entertainment portfolio, are performing well. TV18 and affiliates including Eenadu Television have a 13.4% share of India’s TV viewership.

“We are the No. 1 news broadcaster by a wide margin. Our entertainment portfolio is the youngest and fastest-growing amongst peers and is the No. 3 pan-India entertainment network. In addition to TV broadcasting, it includes a film studio renowned for clutter-free cinema (a peerless example is the film “Andhadhun”) and leading OTT platform Voot. A key achievement has been our foray into subscription models in our flagship digital properties, aimed at embracing change and accelerating growth,” he stated.

TV18 is a subsidiary and the broadcast arm of the Network18 group, one of India’s leading and most diversified media conglomerates. The company’s portfolio includes marquee brands like CNBC-TV18, News18 India, Colors, MTV and Nickelodeon.

In FY19, TV18’s consolidated operating profit jumped 30% to Rs 314 crore from Rs 241 crore in the previous fiscal. The growth was despite Rs 114 crore additional investments into regional channels and digital expansions (VOOT International & Kids and CricketNext).

This was led by regional news gestation losses compressing 41% y-o-y, and Business-as-usual Entertainment EBITDA margins rising to 9% (vs 5% in FY 2017-18). Operating revenue was up 3% to Rs 4943 crore as against Rs 4813 crore. Ex-film revenue rose 8% y-o-y to Rs 4727 crore from Rs 4364 crore on regional growth and a reviving ad environment.

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