zeenews-logo(By Preethi J & Nikhil Pahwa)

Advertising contributed 77% to Zee News Ltd‘s total consolidated revenues of Rs. 1.38 billion for the quarter ended March 31st 2009. The company posted a net profit of Rs. 89.2 million for the quarter, declining sequentially by 41%. For the 2008-09 fiscal, Zee News reported revenues of Rs. 5.2 billion, up 42%. Net profit for the year was Rs. 442 million, up 13.4%.

Subhash Chandra, Chairman, ZNL is bullish on the regional TV space, saying that despite a slowdown in the television and print media space, as well as the Hindi broadcasting space, “the news and regional segments have not been affected, as much. This validates our belief of making early investments in the fast growing regional television market.” The company has investments in southern markets, including Kannada, Telugu and Tamil.

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Advertising

Last year, the fourth quarter raked in what Chandra called a “significantly higher” ad revenue than the third quarter due to “exceptional seasonality”. But this time at Rs. 1.07 billion, Q4’s advertising revenues have dropped 4.13 percent sequentially from Rs 1.12 billion in Q3. Ad revenues for the fiscal recorded a growth of 40% to Rs 4 billion on a year on year basis. Crediting regional channels, Chandra said, “Advertisers find the regional television segment a good vehicle to reach these audiences in a more effective manner.”

Contribution of ad revenue to total revenues has slid to 77.3% from 78.6%.

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Subscription

Subscription revenues for the full year ending March 09 were Rs 968 million, which grew by 45% from last fiscal’s Rs 667.5 million. For the quarter, revenues from subscriptions were Rs 286 million, down from Rs 236.2 million last quarter. Laxmi Narain Goel, Managing Director, Zee News Limited said, “Despite the economic slowdown, Zee News Limited recorded a robust 42% YoY growth in the top-line of Rs. 5.2 billion. This was led by advertising revenue growth and subscription revenue growth.”

Viewership

All channels’ viewership share of ZNL channels in C&S space grew to 5.5% in Q4 FY09 from 5.47% in the previous quarter. Zee 24 Taas overtook its nearest competitor and emerged as the clear No.1. It has recorded a year on year GRP growth of 118%. New businesses Zee Kannada and Zee Telugu continued to gain traction in viewership. Channels Zee Telugu, Zee Kannada, Zee 24 Taas, Zee Tamil, Zee Talkies, Zee 24 Ghantalu and Zee News Uttar Pradesh have incurred an operating loss of Rs. 574.88 million during the fiscal.

Key Corporate Developments

Jan 09 –  Zee News announced it was shutting down Zee Gujarati starting April 1st 2009.
Feb 09 – Zee News partnered with Networkplay for advertising on Shopping.Zeenews.com
Mar 09 – Punit Goenka CEO & ZEEL director was been added as an Additional Director on the Zee News’ Board.
April 09 – Launched Zee 24 Ghantulu, a Telugu channel and Zee UP News.

Also see: Q409 Results: Zee Entertainment Subscription Revenues Eclipse Advertising; Profits, Revenues Up