TV18 Broadcast reported a stellar set of numbers for the quarter ended June 30, 2021. Consolidated revenues were up 49 percent to Rs 1155 crore compared to the corresponding quarter last year, and consolidated operating profit (EBITDA) was up 323 percent to Rs 188 crore year-on-year.
The company said that concerted thrust on continuity of original content and monetisation helped limit the impact to advertising revenues arising from the second COVID wave.
Overall operating margin of 16.2 percent was the highest ever for the first quarter, despite headwinds from the second wave.
Operating margin in the entertainment segment stood at a robust 17 percent, and revenues excluding the film business were up 63 percent year-on-year.
Margin for the news segment was at 15 percent and revenues were up 17 percent YoY.
“Entertainment advertising was impacted by the second wave, as ad-demand dipped in May-early June due to lockdowns. However, original content production and telecasts were continued by tackling lockdown-driven logistical challenges through bio-bubbles, shifting shooting locations, and other innovative/agile solutions,” the company said in a statement.
More importantly, the portfolio was able to re-scale advertising revenues to the same levels as in the first quarter of FY20 (pre-COVID).
“Led by the many learnings from the past year and a responsibility to serve the Indian audience, we have been able to continue our businesses relentlessly and profitably,” Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman of TV18 said.
“While advertising hit a speed-breaker (primarily in entertainment), growing engagement on our platforms across TV and digital make us confident of delivering for all our stakeholders even amidst a choppy environment. We continue to invest to ramp up offerings on our class-leading digital platforms. At the same time, we are selectively creating segmented offerings to enhance our TV portfolio in a capital-efficient manner,” he said.
News genre viewership jumped 28 percent quarter-on-quarter led by the second wave and multiple state and elections. Entertainment viewership grew 8 percent QoQ, some of which was contributed by sports.
Pay-GEC viewership also grew in single digits across both Hindi and regional languages, as original programming continued unabated to a large extent. TV18 Broadcast’s share of TV entertainment rose further to around 11 percent up sharply from around 9.2 percent in Q1FY21.
The company said that cost controls were maintained across business lines, despite second wave driven escalations. This helped reduce operating expenses by 14 percent YoY.
It said digital platforms were in focus, as consumer engagement and subscription continue to ascend.
In key highlights, pay-product Voot Select was the fastest to reach 1 million subscribers in its first year and continued to grow at a healthy clip, driven by subject-led approach to digital originals and curation of TV-led content. The next season of India’s biggest entertainment property ‘Bigg Boss’ will be launched on Voot as a digital exclusive aimed at dialling-up active engagement with viewers.
Niche edutainment pay-platform Voot Kids witnessed a 25 percent quarter-on-quarter growth in overall watchtime.
Network18, the parent company of CNBCTV18.com, is controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.