Scatmag.com

September 2017


BUSINESS NEWS


EROS DENIES APPLE'S 1 BN BID

Shares of Eros International spurted last month o n rumours that it was in talks with the tech giant Apple to sell its 3,000-plus film and music library including 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan', 'Dabangg' and 'Bajirao Mastani' for around $1 billion (₹ 63.7 billion).

However, Eros clarified that it was not privy to any strategic discussion that its NYSE-listed parent Eros International PLC may be having with various potential partners.

The unconfirmed potential deal, for which Eros reportedly started exploring 6 months ago, could include Eros' OTT platform Eros Now.

Discussions were also reportedly being held with competitors -- Netflix and Amazon.

Eros Now, claims 55 million global users & rights to over 5,000 movies in 10 Indian languages and over 250,000 audio tracks from 13 Indian music labels.

Eros' parent is facing a class-action lawsuit for allegedly overstating Eros Now's subscriber base. Earlier reports indicated that Eros had also contacted Sony, Viacom, Star India and Zee to sell its library.


DELHI HC PROTECTS NDTV

In a major relief for NDTV, the Delhi High Court has directed the Income Tax (I-T) department not to take any coercive step against the media house in connection with a ₹ 428-crore demand raised by the authority.

The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) had recently upheld the department's tax demand notice against the media company, following which the latter moved the Delhi High Court to restrain the authorities from taking any coercive action.

The court also issued notice to the I-T department and sought its reply on the television channel's plea challenging the demand order of 26 July and a show-cause notice of the same day for failure to pay the amount in time.


DISH TV RETURNS TO LOSS

India's l a r g e s t D T H platform - Dish TV has returned to loss for its Q-1, 2017-18.

Revenue was down 5.1% to ₹ 738.9 crore.

Subscription revenue fell 5% to ₹ 691.7 crore, as compared Q-1 last fiscal.

EBITDA was down 22.9% to ₹ 201.2 crore.

Dish TV reported a net loss of ₹ 13.9 crore this year, while it had clocked a profit of ₹ 36.1 crore last year.

Average revenue per user (ARPU) grew 10.4% (Q-o-Q), to ₹ 148.

Dish TV added a net of 186,000 subscribers in Q1, while churn was 1% per month.

Jawahar Goel, CMD, Dish TV India Limited, said: "Dish TV has successfully transitioned to the GST regime. The DTH industry has seen a reduction in the overall indirect tax rates under GST. Though benefits due to the unified tax may take some time to reflect in numbers, the sheer check on tax avoidance in the informal cable sector should be immediately helpful in reducing irrational competition from cable."




DEN IMPROVES

Den Network Limited (DEN) reported 38% year-over-year increase in cable revenue at ₹ 154 Crores for Q-1.

In Q-1, its Cable business reported post activation operating profit (EBIDTA) of ₹ 850 million.

Average Revenue Per Box (ARPB) rose to ₹ 74 in Q-1 compared to ₹ 52 in Q-1 last year.

ARPB across all the four DAS phases was up, with DAS IV ARPB more than tripling to ₹ 38 in the current quarter as compared to ₹ 12 in Q1-17.

DAS phase III ARPB increased to ₹ 59 from ₹ 36 a year ago.

Similarly, DAS II ARPB increased from ₹ 73 to ₹ 91 & DAS IV ARPB increased to ₹ 110 from ₹ 101.

Den Networks CEO SN Sharma said, "Den turned another quarter of impressive results by registering a stupendous performance on cable business. On the basis of IGAAP numbers, Den has broken even at the PNT level and the cable business has turned positive at the PAT level. We continue to add subscribers to our broadband business. The average data consumption for broadband business has already crossed 75 GB per month. We are very hopeful to continue this performance and are eagerly awaiting the final verdict on the new TRAI tariff order from the industry standpoint."


IMCL, GRANT RESTRUCTURE APPROVED

The National Company Law T r i b u n a l (NCLT) has approved the shift of Grant Investrade Ltd (GIL) to IndusInd Media and Communications Ltd (IMCL).

Both IMCL and GIL are wholly owned subsidiaries of Hinduja Ventures Ltd (HVL).

The HITS business is operated by GIL under the 'NXT Digital' brand while IMCL runs digital cable TV under the 'InDigital' brand.

"We have been informed by IMCL and GIL that today, i.e. 10 August 2017, the Hon'ble NCLT has sanctioned the aforesaid scheme of arrangement pursuant to which GIL will demerge its headend-in-the-sky business undertaking in to IMCL w.e.f. 1 October 2016, being the appointed date," HVL said in a statement.

The consolidation will enable IMCL to grow its Cable TV business by establishing new DAS Headends fed signals via satellite.



GTPL HATHWAY NET UP 540%

GTPL Hathway, which recently listed on the stock market, has issued its first financial result for FY 2016-17.

Consolidated net profit zoomed 540% to ₹ 40 crore for FY 16-17. EBIDTA jumped 51% to ₹ 240.4 crore.

Cable TV & Broadband revenues surged 27% to ₹ 941.7 crore.

Cable TV subscription revenues grew 33% to ₹ 449.4 crore & broadband revenue grew 77% to ₹ 128.8 crore.

The Gujarat MSO, saw placement revenues fall 11% to ₹ 237.5 crore. Activation income rose 84% to ₹ 75.1 crore.

Pay channel cost, its biggest expenditure, increased 17% to ₹ 382.1 crore.

GTPL Hathway seeded 1.48 million STBs in the year to take its total base to 6.9 million. Of this, 5.98 million were active.

Its STBs deployed were: Phases I: 0.71 million, Phase II: 2.21 million, Phase III: 2.52 million & Phase IV: 1.46 million.

Its CATV ARPUs in Phases I to IV were ₹ 100, ₹ 95, ₹ 54 & ₹ 41 respectively.

The MSO added 70,000 net broadband subscribers to end the year with 0.24 million subscribers.

Broadband ARPU (net of tax) rose 5.5% to ₹ 480 compared to FY16. n