afaqs! news bureau

Network18 counts on IPL to draw users to Viacom18’s digital platform

Its consolidated revenue grew 10% YoY to Rs. 1,340cr. TV18’s consolidated revenue grew 10% YoY to Rs. 1,265cr.

"IPL is the highest reach sports property in the country and will provide a strong entry point for consumers to come to Viacom18’s digital platform. It will play a pivotal role in helping establish it as India’s leading digital media, entertainment, and sports destination," states the earnings release of Network18 for Q1FY22.

After announcing deal with Bodhi Tree and Reliance, Viacom18 has acquired the exclusive digital streaming rights of the Indian Premier League for the Indian sub-continent for the next 5 seasons (2023-2027) for Rs. 23,757.5cr. It also won the rights for 3 out of 5 international territories, which include major cricketing nations like South Africa, Australia, and UK, for Rs. 594.5 crore.

"The big development for us this quarter was the acquisition of exclusive digital rights of IPL," said Adil Zainulbhai, chairman of Network18.

Network18 Media & Investments (Network18) reported a 10.4 percent year-on-year growth in consolidated operating revenue for the quarter ended June 2022 at Rs 1,340 crore. Revenue growth was driven by the entertainment and digital news businesses, whose revenues grew 13 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

The company's subsidiary TV18 reported 10% year-on-year growth in consolidated operating revenue for the same period to Rs 1,265 crore. Entertainment business delivered robust growth in advertising revenues, despite the drop in Colors Rishtey revenue after it went off DD FreeDish.

Network18 reported a 67.52 per cent decline in consolidated net profit at Rs 39.46 crore from Rs 121.51 crore during the corresponding quarter last year.

Viacom18 stepped up content investments in TV and Digital. During the quarter, Viacom18 increased its investments across content categories, in order to grow its share of TV viewership and to expand its growth businesses – Digital and Sports. TV network ramped up programming with 2 new weekday slots and 1 additional impact show in Hindi, along with increased spends on movie channels and regional markets. A step-up in digital content - 9 new shows/movies were launched on the digital platform this quarter compared to none last year, and sports related costs added to the investments.

“First quarter of FY23 has set the tone for the journey that we have undertaken towards making Network18 as India’s leading destination for content. With strong tailwinds favouring digital consumption, it gives us a perfect opportunity to scale-up our OTT offering. Coupled with the partnership with Bodhi Tree and Reliance, it will enable our entertainment business to grow to a multiple of what it is today. We are also working towards creating a 360-degree news offering with depth and breadth, which not only gives the user seamless experience across platforms, but also optimizes for relevance. We are laying down strong foundations on which our businesses can continue to grow for the foreseeable future," Zainulbhai said.

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