February 2020



ARG Outlier Media Asianet News - the parent company of Arnab Goswami's Republic TV, has declared a net loss of ₹ 16.5 Crore, for the fiscal ended 31st March 2019, compared to ₹ 2.3 crore in the previous fiscal. ICRA has assigned [ICRA]BBB- (Stable) to the company. Revenue has grown to ₹ 198.9 crore from ₹ 154.9 crore a year ago. Ads accounted for 77% of revenues.

Incorporated in August 2016, ARG operates Republic TV and R. Bharat. While the former is an English news channel, operational since May 6, 2017, the latter is a Hindi news channel launched on February 3, 2019.

Republic TV is currently ranked by BARC as the top viewed English news channel. R. Bharat is ranked sixth within Hindi news channels. The English news channel achieved EBITDA breakeven in its first year of operations. R. Bharat launched in February 2019, is yet to achieve EBITDA breakeven because of its relatively lower market share.


GTPL Hathway has declared good performance during Q3 FY20. Consolidated net profit jumped to ₹ 32.9 crore from ₹ 28.5 crore in Q2. EBITDA increased to ₹ 135.2 crore from ₹ 127.1 Crore in Q2.

Cable TV subscription revenue fell 1% to ₹ 258.1 crore from ₹ 260.8 crore. Broadband revenue was up 6% at ₹ 42.2 crore from ₹ 39.8 crore. Placement/carriage income increased 4% to ₹ 103.6 crore from ₹ 99.7 crore.

Expenditure rose to ₹ 552.3 crore from ₹ 348.93 crore. Pay channel cost jumped 7% to ₹ 212.5 crore compared to ₹ 198.2 crore. During the quarter, GTPL seeded 1,50,000 STBs taking total seeded STBs as on December 31, 2019 to 10.05 million. Digital paying subscribers as on December 31, 2019 stood at 7.35 million, increased by 100,000.

During Q3 FY20, the company added 2,40,000 Broadband homes passed, bringing them to 3.16 million. It added 20,000 net broadband subscribers during Q3 and 10,000 FTTX subscribers. Total broadband subscribers as on December 31, 2019 were 3,75,000 of which 85,000 are FTTX subscribers. The Broadband average revenue per user (ARPU) for Q3 FY20 was maintained at ₹ 415.


Reliance owned DEN Networks' Q3 consolidated operating profit jumped 20% to ₹ 58 crore from ₹ 48 crore in Q2.

Net profit rose to ₹ 12 crore in Q-3 compared to ₹ 10 crore in Q2.

Subscription revenue was up 5% to ₹ 206 crore. Placement revenue remained flat at ₹ 87 crore. Activation revenue plunged to ₹ 18 crore from ₹ 29 crore.

The cable business posted a net profit of ₹ 18 crore compared to ₹ 15 crore. Cable revenue was ₹ 300 crore compared to ₹ 315 crore in Q2. Subscription revenue moved up 6% to ₹ 189 crore. Total costs declined 9% to ₹ 243 crore.

Broadband business net loss stood at ₹ 5.5 crore compared to ₹ 5.4 crore. EBITDA was up 28% at ₹ 80 lakh from ₹ 60 lakh. Revenue remained flat at ₹ 17.6 crore while costs dropped marginally to ₹ 16.8 crore.


The Department of Telecom (DoT) has approved Bharti Airtel raising its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from its current 49% to 100%. The company already has RBI for foreign investors to hold up to 74% stake in the company.

The approval comes few days before the company has to clear statutory liabilities of up to nearly ₹ 35,586 crore, of which ₹ 21,682 crore is licence fee and another ₹ 13,904.01 crore is spectrum dues (excluding the dues of Telenor and Tata Teleservices).


Reliance owned Hathway Cable & Datacom has posted a net profit of ₹ 68.4 Crore in Q3, compared to a net loss of ₹ 2.4 crore in Q2. The turnaround is probably due to TRAI's New Tariff Order.

The total income increased 2% to ₹ 450.8 crore. Subscription revenue remained flat at ₹ 354.8 crore. Placement revenue increased 9% to ₹ 74.7 crore & activation revenue declined from ₹ 15 Cr to ₹ 14.7 crore. Total expenditure remained flat at ₹ 334 crore. Pay channel cost increased 1% to ₹ 139.6 crore. Operational cost jumped 26% to ₹ 85.7 crore.

Its subsidiary Hathway Digital posted a net profit of ₹ 72.6 crore compared to a net loss of ₹ 1.3 crore. Total income increased 2% to ₹ 293.4 crore. Subscription revenue was down 2% to ₹ 198.2 crore. Total cost increased 4% to ₹ 209.5 crore & Pay channel cost remained flat at ₹ 130.2 crore.

The company has a cable TV base of 6 million STBs. Its Q3 Subscription Collection efficiency is 100%.

The broadband subscriber base jumped to 0.89 million from 0.86 million in Q2. Home passed for the quarter increased to 5.6 million. ARPU was down from ₹ 652 to ₹ 644.


Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has submitted to the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM); 14 properties it is prepared to sell. BSNL Chairman and Managing Director P K Purwar said, "The corporation is making all out efforts to monetise its assets and has identified 14 assets worth over ₹ 20,000 crore through the DIPAM route".

These land parcels are spread across India in locations like Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Ghaziabad and other places.

MTNL has reported losses in nine of the past 10 years and BSNL too has been in the red since 2010.


GTPL Hathway plans to spend ₹ 160 to 165 crore as capital expenditure in FY20, to upgrade its plant and facilities. GTPL Hathway business head - video & chief strategy officer Piyush Pankaj said in Q-1 + Q-2 this year, it has already spent ₹ 86 Cr as Capex.

GTPL Hathway MD Anirudhsinh Jadeja said the company plans to increase its share of the revenue gradually. In Q2, the ARPU increased to ₹ 123-124 from ₹ 121. If ARPU touches ₹ 146, it will yield an annual increase ₹ 120 crore.

Jadeja stated the company plans to seed 1 million STBs in FY20 & have 8 million DAS Subs by end of this fiscal.

It has targeted 400,000 broadband subs this fiscal, with an ARPU of ₹ 430.


Press reports in Dec 2020 indicated that Reliance owned TV18 planned to sell its news channels to the Times Group.

Rahul Joshi, Managing Director of TV18 has denied the move. He told the press "We've outrightly denied any such story in news. In news, the group remains absolutely committed to grow the business. As you've seen, we've committed so much investments in digital, on television. So there's no question of getting out of it."

It is significant to note that there has been no denial of reports that TV18 is likely to pool its entertainment channels - currently housed under its JV with Viacom - under a new company in which Sony will hold a 51% stake. The remaining stake will be held by TV18 and, indirectly, by ViacomCBS, according to the report.


M a r k e t regulator SEBI has imposed a ₹ 9 lakh fine on Zee Media Corporation Ltd (ZMCL) and its promoter entity 25FPS Media for nondisclosure of invocation of pledged shares. In the order, the regulator that a fine of ₹ 6 lakh has been levied on 25FPS Media while ₹ 3 lakh fine has been imposed on ZMCL.

SEBI conducted an examination of the ZMCL script from 8th-26th April 2019 to ascertain whether there was any disclosure violation of Prohibition of Insider Trading (PIT) Regulations & SAST (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations. It discovered that IFCI Ltd. (pledgee) had invoked pledge in respect of 1,07,15,825 equity shares of the company pledged by 25FPS (pledger), which was not disclosed to the public. n