NDTV has decided to transfer its business programming from NDTV Profit to the regular business and finance segments on NDTV 24×7, the company informed BSE. As a results of this the trading hours programming on NDTV Profit will stand suspended, while NDTV Prime will continue as an independent channel. Note that at present Profit operates as a dual channel with Prime, which is the infotainment channel.
The company said that it might revive the business channel in the future, but nothing concrete was mentioned in this regard. Livemint reported that these changes will come into effect on June 5, though NDTV didn’t provide a date in its release to BSE.
This move isn’t completely surprising. The company had cut spending by 17% to Rs 137 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 (Q4 FY17), compared to Rs 164 crore in Q4 FY16. Only the Hindi channel, which posted Rs 7 crore in profit in Q4 FY17, was performing well. Incidentally, the profits of the Hindi channel exceeded the total profits of the NDTV group at Rs 5 crore. At the end of Q3 FY17, NDTV had blamed the “downturn in TV advertisement revenues in the current quarter post currency demonetization” for the widening of losses. It had reported a net loss of Rs 15.83 crore for the quarter.
Besides NDTV Profit and Prime, the group also operates the news channels NDTV India and NDTV 24×7, the lifestyle channel NDTV Good Times and several e-commerce ventures in verticals such as automobile (CarAndBike.com), gadgets (Gadgets360.com), health food (SmartCooky.com) and wedding (BandBaajaa.com).
Sale of Indianroots.com stake
This development closely follows last month’s board approval of the sale of its entire stake in NDTV Ethnic Retail Limited (Indianroots.com) to Nameh Hotels & Resorts Private Ltd for Rs 3.6518 per equity share. The company didn’t disclose the total number of shares being bought by Nameh Resorts in its filing. had reported total revenue of Rs 3.998 crores for the full year ended March 31, 2017 (FY17), accounting for about 0.75% of NDTV’s total revenue of Rs 148.479 crore for the year. The decline in revenue appeared to have been drastic: for FY16, the company reported operating revenues of Rs 20.968 crore, up from Rs 19.224 crores in FY15, and Rs 5.604 crores in FY14.
Indianroots had reported total revenue of Rs 3.998 crores for the full year ended March 31, 2017 (FY17), accounting for about 0.75% of NDTV’s total revenue of Rs 148.479 crore for the year. The decline in revenue appeared to have been drastic: for FY16, the company reported operating revenues of Rs 20.968 crore, up from Rs 19.224 crores in FY15, and Rs 5.604 crores in FY14. Indianroots Retail Pvt Ltd (a part of this deal) had a total negative net worth of Rs 32.153 crores and Rs 0.699 crore in total revenue for FY17, contributing 0.13% to the group’s total revenue.
Flurry of top-level exits
– In January this year, the Managing Editor Barkha Dutt resigned after 21 years at the media company. At the time she had hinted she might start her own venture. It’s worth noting that Dutt had earlier announced the launch of a digital and events venture called The Print with the former Indian Express editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta in January last year.
– NDTV’s group CEO Vikram Chandra had stepped down in October last year. Chandra was appointed as CEO in 2011 for 3 years and the post was extended by 2 more years. He is now focused full-time on journalism within the group and the TV shows of the network and remains a consulting editor .