TV18 Broadcast reports FY2019 income of Rs 4,978 crore
TV18 Broadcast Limited has reported consolidated income of Rs 1,197 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 31, 2019, and Rs 4,978 crore for FY2018-19. Consolidated Operating Revenue for Q4 FY2019 stood at Rs 1,182 crore, a decrease of 23 per cent from Rs 1,540 in Q4FY2018.
FY19 ex-film revenue rose 8 per cent YoY on continued regional growth and a reviving ad-environment. Implementation of TRAI’s new tariff order impacted Q4, dragging full-year growth; but is likely to be a medium-term positive.
FY19 EBITDA was up 30 per cent YoY despite Rs 114 crore investments into new regional channels and digital expansions (Voot International & Kids). Regional News gestation losses compressed by 42 per cent YoY, while Entertainment EBITDA margins rose to 9 per cent (vs 5 per cent in FY18).
Q4FY19 ex-film revenues dipped 6 per cent YoY (headline revenue was down 23 per cent due to movie ‘Padmaavat’ last year), led by flux around implementation of the new tariff order, and Nidahas Trophy cricket and other live events and Union Budget coverage in the base quarter, which were absent this year.
Flux around implementation of new tariff order (NTO) from February 1, 2019
Advertisers pulled back spends due to lack of stable viewership data. Viewership has been impacted for all major broadcasters as process of consumers choosing channels/packs and on-ground realignments in distribution value-chain are still underway. This has led to volatile viewership (BARC did not publish data from Week 5 – Week 12, 2019), which is expected to take some more time to settle.
Gross subscription revenue growth has been impacted too, as subscriber base has yet to normalise due to implementation challenges. TV18 has increased its marketing intensity, as consumers are in the midst of exercising their choice. However, subscription dynamics are likely to improve in future as the broadcasting business moves to B2C (pull-based) rather than B2B (push-based). TV18’s channels (through ‘Colors wala pack’ as well as distributor packs) have witnessed strong uptake in this transition phase; led by breadth of content at a value price-point, and improved distribution tie-ups.
Shifting of Free-To-Air (FTA) GECs to Pay
FTA GEC Rishtey and Hindi movie channel Rishtey Cineplex were withdrawn from the DD Freedish platform and were re-launched as pay-channels Colors Rishtey (with some original programming) and Colors Cineplex (with a reinforced movie library) from March 1, 2019. Cineplex now plugs the whitespace the network had in the pay Hindi movie genre. Moving away from Freedish distribution impacted their reach and consequently hurt late-Q4 viewership and ad-monetisation. However, TV18 believes that in the new tariff regime pay-channels shall have better consumer connect as well as distribution economics in the medium-term. This shall also improve the monetisation of primary pay-GEC Colors, which had faced some viewership/ advertiser cannibalisation.