IBN18 Broadcast, a subsidiary of Network18 group that runs , has witnessed an 87%  fall in consolidated net losses in the quarter ended December 2009 from Rs. 823.68 million in September quarter to Rs. 106 million now. They were also 51.5% lower than Rs. 218.8 million the company reported in the December 2008 quarter. Consolidated net sales were up 40.8% quarter on quarter to Rs. 1.93 billion, and 2.55 times that recorded in December 2008. Expenses rose from Rs. 1 billion in the corresponding period last year to Rs. 1.84 billion. Consolidated EBITDA stood at Rs. 87.3 million.

Update: In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Network18 MD Raghav Bahl said that IBN7 had turned EBITDA positive, and IBN18 also benefited significantly from Viacom18 reporting excellent results, on account of the performance of their channel Colors.

Details: Financials | Release

On a standalone basis, IBN18 recorded losses of Rs. 1.09 billion but, unlike last quarter (when they had tripled year on year), losses have halved from Rs. 2.59 billion in December 2008. CNN IBN and IBN7 channels combined showed at 45% growth in revenues sequentially and an EBITDA of Rs 59.1 million.

IBN Lokmat Losses Drop 18.8%
Income from its Marathi news channel IBN Lokmat News, its 50% joint venture with  Lokmat Newspapers, the publisher of Marathi daily Lokmat, have risen 62% from Rs. 25.5 million recorded last quarter to Rs. 41.33 million in the December 2009 quarter. Losses have reduced 19.8% from Rs. 54.4 million to Rs. 43.6 million sequentially. Expenditure has risen to Rs. 69.4 million in the quarter. EBITDA loss is at Rs. 28.1 million.

IBN18 continues to pump in funds, investing Rs. 295.3 million in the company. IBN Lokmat faces competition from Zee 24 Taas and Star Majha. According to a TAM report, the channel has 37% market share, while Star Majha has 36% and Zee 24 Taas has 24%.

Viacom18 Turns Profitable

IBN18 has invested Rs. 4.75 billion in Viacom18, its 50% joint venture with Viacom Inc. Viacom18 operates the channels MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1 and Colors.

Viacom18 has turned a profit in the December 2009 quarter with Rs. 56.3 million, in September 2009 quarter its losses stood at Rs. 416.328 million. Viacom18’s income has risen from Rs. 2 billion in September quarter to Rs. 2.66 billion. EBITDA is at Rs 91.19 million compared to an EBITDA loss of Rs 381.15 million in September. Expenditure more than doubled in the quarter from Rs. 1.1 billion to Rs. 2.57 billion.

Growth in advertising revenues for Colors continues to be robust at 41% from the previous quarter. The channel will be launched in US and UK soon. Colors continues to lead the Hindi GEC market for TV with a 25% viewership share in October-December 2009 followed by Star Plus, Zee TV, Sony, NDTV Imagine, Sab, Star One, Sahara One, Real and 9X.

Also read our interview of Viacom18 Director (Digital) Ali Hussein: part 1 and part 2.

MTV’s revenues from advertisement have also picked up pace to 34%, compared to the 17% growth in September quarter. It leads ahead of Zoom, Bindaas, 9X M and Channel [V] as of October-December 2009 TAM data.

Nickelodeon’s ad revenue growth was at 27% sequentially and 62% year on year; music channel VH1’s grew 21% quarter on quarter. VH1 lags behind Discovery Travel & Living, but is head of Zee Cafe and Star World in viewership share of 7 metros as of October-December 2009 TAM data.

Studio18

Studio18 is the film production division of Viacom18. During the December quarter, it distributed “Fruit N Nut” and “London Dreams” and has 3 films set for release in the current quarter (January-March 2010) : “Striker”, “Road Movie”, “Kaun Bola”.

IBN18’s wholly subsidiaries are: IBN18 Mauritius Ltd, JTV and RTV Media Pvt Ltd. It also has an advisory services division, but no data has been provided on its performance.

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