q309-snapshot-utvUTV Softwares Interactive and Gaming segments appear to have turned a corner – for the quarter ending December 31st, both divisions have reported a profit at the EBITDA level. On revenues of Rs. 346.01 million, the gaming division has reported an EBITDA of Rs. 12.23 million, while the New Media segment has reported an EBITDA of Rs. 1.405 million, compared to an EBITDA loss of Rs. 21.7 million last quarter.

However, for the 9 months ending December 31st 2008, both segments have reported an EBITDA loss. Ronnie Screwvala, Founder and CEO of UTV Software, has said that the company will remain in investment mode this year, and deems it unfair to judge the company on the basis of net profit margins since they are still focusing on building scale, saying that “operational efficiency will come into place once we have demonstrated growth.”

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The investments in the gaming segment continue to dwarf the investment in the New Media business. Over the last 9 months, UTV has invested Rs. 1.6 billion in the Games Content segment, including Indiagames and Ignition Entertainment. This division has contributed 25% to the companys operating revenues in the last quarter.

IndiaGames: has grown around 20% quarter on quarter, with most of its growth from its India operations; the company has diversified its revenue concentration across telcos in India and has entered some strategic distribution relationships internationally to further growth in the US and EMEA (Europe Middle East & Africa) regions. A restructuring of the development team also resulted in greater focus for the APAC (Asia Pacific) region which traditionally has been its smallest segment.

 

 

The Games on Demand (GoD) business has over 25,000 subscribers, with the largest number of subscribers with Airtel and BSNL were the largest. GoD added around 4 new games a month.

 

 

Ignition and TrueGames: Ignition will focus on 3 IPs, while TrueGames will be in investment mode for another 4 quarters

New Media Segment
This segment contributed only about 4% of UTVs operating revenues. During the quarter, the Company acquired digital rights for a number of regional films including 3 Kannada Movies, 2 Telugu movies and 1 movie from Haryana, as well as digital rights for a Hindi movie called Bad Luck Govind. On the International font, UTV New Media acquired rights for albums from the Pussy Cat Dolls and LL Cool J; in all 4 international acquisitions. 
The regional content acqusition strategy is an interesting one – the costs are usually lower, and the market is niche. UTV would perhaps need the amount they’ve invested in the gaming vertical to make a mark on the more expensive, Hindi/Bollywood content market.