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Network18 Media & Investments Q1 revenues jump 142% to Rs 3,239 cr

Network18 Media & Investments reported consolidated revenues of Rs 3,239 crore for the quarter ended June 2023, up 142 percent year-on-year (YoY) driven by the performance of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on JioCinema.

The company said its TV news network delivered a 26 percent growth in revenues driven by leadership in key markets as its channels continue to be number one in the Hindi, English and Business news genres. However, the firm said that the advertising environment continued to be soft despite an improvement in some pockets.

The highlight of the quarter was JioCinema, which set new benchmarks for IPL streaming. Nearly 450 million viewers tuned in to JioCinema to watch IPL, delivering a total of 17 billion video views with an average watch time of more than 60 minutes per user per match. In fact, JioCinema’s IPL advertising revenue was higher than that of TV’s, the company said.

The company said its profit for the period was Rs 29 crore, down 25.6 percent from Rs 39 crore in the same quarter last year.

“The year has started on a blockbuster note with our digital initiatives delivering phenomenal results,” said Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman of Network18. “We have made some key leadership hirings recently which will help the Group push through to the next phase of growth and help us reach our ambition of becoming the largest and most admired media-tech company of the country.”

TV News
TV18 is the biggest news network in India with the highest weekly reach and widest presence across Indian languages, said the company. It has about 20 domestic channels.

Operating revenue for this segment grew 25 percent year-on-year to Rs 315 crore during the quarter, driven by strong growth in advertising revenue. The network also made strong viewership gains over the last year which helped improve the pricing of some channels, it said.

Operating EBITDA for this segment was flat at around Rs 10 crore as the network spent on expanding content coverage and distribution reach.

News18 reached around 180 million consumers on a weekly basis. In terms of viewership, it was the #2 network with 12.3 percent market share in the news segment, said the company.

The entertainment segment saw operating revenues grow 184 percent from a year ago to Rs 2839 crore. This segment has Viacom18’s 38 channels, JioCinema and AETN18’s two infotainment channels. TV18’s entertainment portfolio had a viewership share of 10.1 percent in the non-news genre during the quarter, as per the exchange filing.

On the back of strong performance of IPL on JioCinema, Viacom18’s revenue nearly tripled, the company said. The platform recorded the highest-ever number of advertisers on IPL, attracting more than 13 times the number of advertisers on TV, it added.

This segment also saw a tripling of operating costs compared to a year ago driven by the sports vertical. Excluding its impact, there was a modest growth in cost on account of entertainment content launched on JioCinema, it added. The entertainment vertical reported an operating EBITDA loss of Rs 49 crore compared to a Rs 62 crore profit a year ago.

Digital News
The digital news segment reported revenues of Rs 86, up 2 percent from a year ago thanks to a weak advertising environment.

There was a 24 percent increase in operating expenses primarily driven by employee cost as the company is focusses on becoming a tech-first, product-led organisation.

Network18’s digital portfolio reaches around 225 million internet users every month, said the company. The Moneycontrol web site ranks #1 in terms of page views and time spend. The platform expanded its market coverage with new features like Know Your Stock, MC Long View, and MC Alpha. Moneycontrol

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