Report on Hindi News Viewership

Network18 reports 53 per cent EBITDA growth in Q2 FY22

The company’s Q2 revenues excluding film business grew by 31 per cent.

Mumbai: Network18 Media and Investments Ltd has announced its results for the second quarter financial year 2022. The media company reported that the consolidated EBITDA for the quarter grew 53 per cent year-on-year and operating margin at 18.2 per cent.

The entertainment margin stood at ~19 per cent and excluding film business, revenue was up by 31 per cent YoY. The news margin stood at ~18 per cent and news business revenue was up by 18 per cent YoY. The revenues for digital news rose by 55 per cent YoY and margins at ~17 per cent. Profit after tax rose to ~ Rs 200 crore.

The company reported that its entertainment broadcast business saw a strong performance in Hindi and select regional markets and that its share of the entertainment portfolio rose 90bps quarter-on-quarter to 11.8 per cent. “This was despite a marginal decline in the entertainment and overall TV viewership, which has now settled at the pre-Covid-19 levels,” it noted.

It also reported that entertainment revenues surpassed pre-Covid-19 as ad volumes registered strong growth during the quarter. “Having already scaled to FY20 levels in Q1, ad revenue registered a strong growth (vs both FY21, FY20) during the quarter, driven by an action-packed programming calendar that strengthened the network’s viewership share,” the company said.

According to the company, domestic pay-TV subscription revenue for the quarter was flattish YoY while international pay-TV subscription revenue remains under stress.

The company confirmed that Viacom18 has acquired the rights to the next FIFA World Cup 2022 to be held in Qatar. It has also acquired rights to three of the five most-watched football leagues in the world - La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy), and Ligue 1 (France). It said, “Live sports on broadcast and digital platforms will complement the current entertainment offering and will strengthen the consumer value proposition of the network.”

The company's over-the-top platform Voot Select saw a sharp jump in paid subscribers during the quarter, which is attributed to the launch of “Bigg Boss OTT.” The show garnered more than 10 billion minutes of watch time (AVOD+SVOD) over a six-week period. The company reported that Voot was the fastest OTT to reach one million B2C subscribers.

“This quarter has been quite remarkable, both from a macro as well as company’s point of view. The way the country came out of the grip of the second wave of Covid-19 was truly heartening and equally reassuring was the full-swing return of economic growth,” said Network18 chairman Adil Zainulbhai.

“The outlook is looking quite promising from a medium-term perspective and this is good news for all our consumer-facing businesses. Our digital assets, both news and entertainment, got a lift during the pandemic and we continue to invest to leverage those gains. With expansion into the sports genre, we have taken a significant step towards scaling up our entertainment portfolio to the next level. This will help establish us as a truly integrated media company across broadcast, OTT, and content studio business spanning general entertainment, news, movies and sports," he added.

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