Scatmag.com

November 2019


BUSINESS NEWS


HOSTILE BID ON ZEEL?

According to press reports , there could be a hostile bid to a c q u i r e control of ZEEL from Subhash Chandra.

VTB Capital Plc, a unit of Russia's state-controlled lender VTB Group, is in talks with 2 potential investors to sell a 10.71% stake in Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. This is almost half the 22.37% promoter holding in Zee. If the deal goes through, it may threaten promoter Subhash Chandra's control over the company he founded and could expose Zee to hostile takeover bids.

Both potential investors are large business groups with presence in media and broadcasting. One of the interested buyers is an Indian conglomerate, while the other is an international corporation.

Chandra is also in negotiations with VTB to take back the shares by paying VTB's outstanding loan of around ₹ 2,000 crore from the proceeds of its stake sale to Invesco Oppenheimer.

Despite robust performance Zee Entertainment shares have slumped to a 6-year low, touching ₹ 205, its price on 18 April, 2013. This year, ZEEL shares have slumped 56%.


LOW FDI IN DIGITAL MEDIA

The cabinet recently amended the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy allowing only 26% in digital media with prior government approval.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has sought the views of the I&B Ministry on the difference between permitted FDIs in Satellite News channels their digital media counterparts.

Current FDI policy allows 49% FDI under approval route in up-linking of 'News & Current Affairs' TV channels. However, only 26% FDI is allowed under approval route for uploading/streaming of news and current affairs through digital media.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India stated in a presentation to the DPIIT that continued FDI is critical to enable Indian digital media startups to achieve global scale.

"How can you differentiate between TV channels which have 49% and their online streams, which will effectively have 26%?" Eros International group chief marketing officer Manav Sethi said.


HATHWAY REDUCES Q2 NET LOSS

Reliance Industries controlled Hathway Cable and Datacom reduced its consolidated net loss by 74% to ₹ 2.4 crore for the quarter ended 30th September compared to ₹ 9.4 crore in Q2.

Broadband subscription revenue was ₹ 139.3 crore as against ₹ 133.8 crore. Cable TV subscription revenue fell to ₹ 214.9 crore compared to ₹ 216.7 crore in Q2. Placement revenue declined 13% to ₹ 68.4 crore while activation revenue fell 11% to ₹ 15 crore. Pay channel cost jumped 7% to ₹ 138.6 crore.

The company had 6 million CATV subs, including 0.29 million HD customers. The subscription collection efficiency was 100%.

The broadband subscriber base increased to 860,000 from 840,000 in Q2. FTTH markets led growth in customer acquisition.

The national average on monthly data consumption was 146 GB/consumer/month. Chennai being a pure FTTH market, data consumption average was 179 GB. The Hathway Playbox helps increase data usage, as consumers shift Viewing to OTT on a large screen. Plans are to offer 200-500 Mbps speeds to premium consumers.





DEN NETWORKS: LOWER PROFIT

Reliance Industries owned DEN Networks has posted a consolidated net profit of ₹ 10 crore for the quarter ended 30th September. This is lower than the ₹ 14 crore net profit in Q1 FY20.

Buoyed by TRAI's new tariff regime, DEN's operating profit jumped 17% to ₹ 48 crore. Revenue increased 6% to ₹ 332.4 crore but total cost also rose 5% to ₹ 284 crore.

Net profit from the cable TV business was ₹ 15 crore, down from ₹ 20 crore. Cable TV revenue increased 7% to ₹ 315 crore. Subscription revenue rose 4% to ₹ 178 crore. Placement revenue fell 9% to ₹ 88 crore. Activation revenue rose 27% to ₹ 29 crore. Content cost remained flat at ₹ 159 crore.

Broadband business net loss increased 2% to ₹ 5 crore. Revenue declined 3% to ₹ 18 crore. Total cost remained unchanged at ₹ 17 crore.

DEN's Cable operations span over 500+ cities/towns across 13 key states Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Kerala, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.

DEN provides fixed Broadband services in 47 Cities/ Towns in India.


NEW GTPL HATHWAY CFO

GTPL Hathway Ltd has appointed Anil Bothra as Chief Financial Officer with e f f e c t from 14 October 2019. Bothra is a chartered accountant, company secretary and a cost accountant who has worked with Atul Ltd, Shell Hazira, Adani Enterprises, Aditya Birla Group (Grasim / Hindalco & Ultratech) and Lloyds Steels. Prior to joining GTPL, Bothra was associated with Grasim Industries Ltd.



CBS-VIACOM MERGER CONFIRMED

Details of the CBS V i a c o m merger into ViacomCBS have been confirmed. T h e c o m b i n e d company will follow CBS's fiscal that ends Dec. 31 rather than Viacom's Sept. 30.

Viacom dropped its asking price 5 times between Aug. 2 and Aug. 12 to a stock exchange ratio of 0.5965 shares of CBS for every Viacom share held. The deal values Viacom at $12.5 billion.

As part of the merger agreement, there will be no changes to the ViacomCBS board for 2 years.

It has also been agreed to have an open mind about a potential acquisition of ViacomCBS, should a suitor come forward.



TAMIL NADU - A UNIQUE MARKET

BARC India data shows how Tamil Nadu leads regional TV viewership, content and advertising trends. India's daily TV consumption is about 3 hours 37 minutes whereas Tamil Nadu sees more than 4 hours a day.

TN is dominated by 53% women viewers.

Tamil Nadu is the only state in the South which has a higher (55%) viewership from urban areas.

There is no prime time! GEC contributes 63% of total TV consumption in the TN market. TN produces 52 original content in a week whereas the top 3 Hindi GECs have an average of 43 original shows.



RBNL REDUCES FY19 NET LOSS

Radio broadcasting (BIG FM) company Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd (RBNL) has reduced its net loss for fiscal 2018-19 to ₹ 108.63 crore from ₹ 132.43 crore a year ago.

It had sold its TV broadcast business to ZEEL in November 2016 for ₹ 298.4 crore.

RBNL has a negative net worth of ₹ 1116.27 crore as on end March 2019.

RBNL is selling its 40 stations to Jagran Prakashan Ltd. owned Music Broadcast Ltd. for ₹ 1050 crore. The remaining 18 stations will be sold to other buyers at an estimated value of ₹ 150 crore. n