In the third quarter of the fiscal year 2023-24, Network18 Media faced a 4.1% decline in consolidated operating revenue. The figures dropped from Rs 1,850 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal year to Rs 1,774 crore.
TV18, which encompasses TV news and entertainment, witnessed a 5.2% decline in operating revenue, reaching Rs 1,676 crore compared to Rs 1,768 crore in Q3 FY23. Despite this, TV18’s News Business demonstrated resilience with an impressive 23% revenue surge, marking Rs 402 crore in Q3 FY24 against Rs 327 crore in the same quarter the previous year.
The digital news platforms under Network18 experienced robust growth, posting a 20% increase in revenue. The digital news business, featuring popular brands such as Moneycontrol, News18.com, and Firstpost, generated Rs 111 crore in Q3 FY24, up from Rs 92 crore in Q3 FY23.
TV18 faced challenges in its entertainment sector, reporting a 12% decline in operating revenue solely from entertainment. This dip was attributed to lower revenues in the movie and sports segments. On the bright side, TV18’s subscription revenue saw an 8% year-on-year increase in Q3 FY24. However, film production and distribution revenue took a sharp hit, plummeting 51% from Rs 209 crore in Q3 FY23 to Rs 103 crore in Q3 FY24.
The company explained that the decline in sports revenue was influenced by the absence of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in the base quarter. On the digital front, ad revenue surged, driven by impactful properties like Bigg Boss and Temptation Island. Interestingly, TV Entertainment advertising revenue remained flat, despite a reduced number of hours dedicated to non-fiction content compared to the previous year.
TV18 Broadcast reported a loss of Rs 56 crore in the third quarter of FY24, contributing to the parent company Network18’s overall loss of Rs 108 crore. However, total income, including other income, marginally increased to Rs 1,841 crore from Rs 1,823 crore in Q3 FY23.
The company’s value of sales and services declined from Rs 2,166 crore in Q3 FY23 to Rs 2,064 crore in Q3 FY24. Simultaneously, marketing, distribution, and promotional expenses rose from Rs 357 crore to Rs 390 crore. Depreciation and amortization expenses also increased from Rs 34 crore to Rs 43 crore in Q3 FY24.
In an earnings release, Network18 disclosed a scheme of arrangement for the merger of TV18 and e-Eighteen.com (Moneycontrol) with Network18. This strategic move aims to simplify the holding structure and create a platform-agnostic news media conglomerate.
Adil Zainulbhai, Chairman of Network18, expressed satisfaction with the merger announcement, emphasizing its potential to serve consumers better, realize synergies, and provide a unique opportunity for shareholders. Zainulbhai highlighted the momentum in their businesses, aligning with the improving economic outlook.