Network18 Media & Investments on October 25 reported that its consolidated operating revenue for the July-September quarter jumped 20 per cent year-on-year to Rs 1,866 crore, from Rs 1,549 crore a year ago.
The net loss for the fiscal second quarter widened to Rs 60.99 crore from Rs 36.49 crore reported during the same period last year. Consolidated operating EBITDA also swung to negative Rs 218 crore, from positive Rs 32 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
“With India cricket rights, Viacom18 now has the biggest portfolio of sports properties, making it the default choice for sports fans. The digital transformation initiatives that we had commenced for our news business last year are gathering momentum and will help us to stay ahead of the curve as we go ahead,” said Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman of Network18.
“Our focus continues to be on providing quality content to audience and as India’s only network with presence across news, entertainment, and sports, we are in a unique position to serve customers across the country and demographic cohorts,” he added.
Network18 said that the drop in EBITDA was due to investments in growth verticals Sports and Digital. “Both these verticals require investments in the near term to build a strong consumer proposition which will help the Company rise to the leadership position in the cluttered media landscape. We are building a strong catalogue of entertainment content which will leverage the exponential increase in audience traffic that sports enables,” the company said in a statement.
During the quarter, the company has taken a number of steps that will result in revenue visibility for years. The foremost being Viacom18’s acquisition of media rights for the BCCI International and Domestic matches.
The rights include international men’s, women’s, and other domestic first-class competitions like Ranji Trophy. Viacom18 acquired both the Indian sub-continent and global television and digital rights for the next five years for Rs 5,963 crore.
“Cricket (BCCI, IPL) will enable the Company to drive a step jump in audience footfalls, especially on JioCinema, as live sports consumption continues to pivot towards digital. Broadcast rights will strengthen the Company’s channel bouquet and will enable it to broaden its broadcast content portfolio and serve quality content to all its viewers,” said the company.
Meanwhile, the company said, TV18 News continued to be the highest-reach network in the country, reaching 190 million people around the country every week. The network maintained its leadership position in key markets with CNBC TV18, News18 India, and CNN News18 being the top channels in their respective genres.
Network18 continued to be the second-largest digital publisher in the country with 22.5 crore unique visitors every month. Moneycontrol maintained leadership in terms of engagement metrics and News18.com’s multiple regional language platforms were #1 in their respective markets.
Disclaimer:Network18 and TV18 – the companies that operate news18.com – are controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.