After buffing up finances of Web18, Network 18 is now tweaking operations and merging broadcast operations of TV18’s two business news channels CNBC TV18 and CNBC Awaaz. The company’s infrastructure will now cover two broadcast hubs – Mumbai and New Delhi – and 8 business bureaus. Coincidentally, CNBC-TV18 and CNBC Awaaz have completed 10 years and 5 years respectively as stand-alone operations. After four quarters of de-growth, comparing year on year, the business news channels reported an operating margin of 16% and the company expects better times ahead. News operations (which contributes 52.2% to TV18 revenues) witnessed net losses rising 17.11% to Rs. 331.07 million in the quarter ended Sep 09.
The group expects to cut operational costs in TV18 by 20 percent via the restructuring, and this is expected to translate into savings of approximately Rs.65 crores annually. The company had previously committed to repaying its debts when it approved a rights issue for Rs. 510 crore in May 2009. The debt appears to have halved already to Rs. 300 crore in six months.
TV18’s Internet and mobile subsidiary, Web18 Holdings, raised $10 million from VC fund Nokia Growth Partners recently. Its plans to go in for an IPO are on hold until the market improves. Besides Web18, TV18 also runs Newswire 18, a financial news information service, and publication house Infomedia 18.
Other channels partly or wholly owned by the group include CNN-IBN, IBN7, IBN Lokmat, Homeshop18, MTV, VH1, Colors, and Nickelodeon.
—HomeShop18 Raises $23.5M From GS Home Shopping, Network18
—Sep09: Network18 Net Loss At Rs. 833.63M; HS18 Sales Cross Rs.450M; IBN18
—Sep09: Web18 Revenues Up 5%, Operating Loss Down 73%; Moneycontrol Data