Sony Pictures Network India’s (SPNI) pay subscriber base has eroded from 156 million to 115 million due to the New Tariff Order (NTO) according to Sony Corporation which announced its consolidated financial results for the quarter ending March 31, 2020, on 13th May.
Sony Corp noted that the New Tariff Regime instituted by TRAI had allowed customers to subscribe to channels on an a-la-carte basis rather than as bundles which led to an erosion in SPNI’s pay subscriber base. SPNI’s pay subscriber base is estimated to have declined from 156M to 115M. Sony Corp further noted that the subscribers had chosen to subscribe to a few channels leading to a decrease in the estimated numbers of subscribers to the Indian channels.
Sony’s Media Networks had revenue of 2,157 million dollars in FY19 whereas in FY18 it had a revenue of 2,455 million dollars. As of March 31, 2019, the number of subscribers was 1,304.9 million whereas, on March 31, 2020, the number of subscribers was 432.2 million.
Sony Pictures Entertainment increase in sales was partially offset by a decrease in sales for Media Networks due to the impact of the channel portfolio review that was undertaken in the previous fiscal year. The year-on-year operating income significantly increased because of the channel portfolio review that was undertaken. The operating income was also impacted by an increase in charges related to the channel portfolio review which totaled 17 billion yen.
Sony Corp stated that it would further explore potential revisions to the Media Networks portfolio, but at present, it did not resolve to undertake any major changes. In India, SPNI shutdown Sony MIX and Sony ESPN on March 31, 2020, whereas globally Sony Pictures Television individual channel offerings reduced from 82 to 74.
Sony Corp also said that due to the global reduction in advertising spending, advertising revenue in Media Networks is decreasing significantly, especially in India.