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TV18 incurs loss in Q1 owing to investment in Voot, new channel launches

TV18 Broadcast has posted a standalone net loss of Rs 16.849 million for the first quarter ended June 30, 2016, compared to net profit of Rs 120.874 million for the corresponding quarter in the previous fiscal. Total income increased from Rs 1353.793 million for Q1 FY16 to Rs 1414.105 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2016.

As far as the unaudited consolidated results for Q1 FY17 are concerned, the Group has posted a net loss of Rs 145.761 million, compared to net profit of Rs 84.593 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2015. Total income decreased from Rs 2837.332 million in Q1 FY16 to Rs 2203.141 million in Q1 FY17.

The consolidated revenue (including proportionate share of joint ventures considered for segment reports) for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 stood at Rs 606.7 crore, compared to Rs 596.7 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. This represents a growth of 10 per cent after factoring in the change in status of Prism TV (regional entertainment channels). Prism was consolidated as a subsidiary during the quarter ended June 30, 2015, but became a joint venture effective August 1, 2015.

During the quarter the Group made aggressive investments in new channel launches and relaunches of existing ones, on talent and various digital businesses. These initiatives reflect in lower profitability for the quarter. Segment loss before interest and tax on a consolidated basis, including the performance of JVs stood at Rs 19.1 crore. Excluding the impact of these new initiatives, the segment profit for the business as usual is Rs 32.9 crore vis-à-vis profit of Rs 0.7 crore in the quarter ended June 30, 2015.

Three news channels – News18 Kerala, News18 Tamil Nadu and News18 Assam/N.E – were launched in April, further strengthening the group’s footprint in the regional news genre. These three channels accounted for Rs 13.9 crore of the overall operating losses for the quarter.

Rishtey Cineplex, a Hindi movie channel and VOOT, Viacom18’s exclusive digital video destination in the Over The Top (OTT) space, were launched in May 2016. Viacom18 also launched HD channels in Kannada, Marathi and Bangla during the quarter. The aggregate operating loss attributed to these new initiatives of Viacom18 in the consolidated results is Rs 29.2 crore.

During the quarter, CNN-IBN was re-branded and re-launched as CNN-News18. A one-time expense of Rs 3.5 crore towards re-branding was incurred during the quarter.

FYI, a factual entertainment channel from the AETN18 stable (a JV between TV18 and A&E Network), was commercially launched on July 5, 2016. The operating loss of Rs 5.4 crore for this channel is included in the April-June quarter.

Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman, TV18 Broadcast, said, “We are bullish about media – both linear and digital – and are investing heavily in most of our businesses to position them for leadership. We are investing aggressively in upgrading existing properties and launching new news & entertainment properties to enable our businesses to be ahead of the curve. We are also investing in our digital businesses. The results of these investments are starting to bear fruit and will help in healthy revenue growth and profits in the near future.”

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