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TV Today to sell radio biz to Radio Mirchi, launches new TV channel ‘Bihar Tak’

TV Today reported total revenues of Rs 163 crore, up 3.4% YoY, but down 10% over the last quarter, for the quarter ended September 2018.

  • Net income: Fell marginally by 4% YoY to Rs 29.9 crore, but fell substantially – 26% – over last quarter from Rs 40.8 crore

Developments in the Digital segment

  • In January, the company acquired the digital business of Living Media India Ltd (the India Today Group) for Rs 20 crore. It had finished the acquisition of Mail Today and India Today Online last year.
  • India Today Online Pvt Ltd, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of TV Today, was to be merged into the company; a motion petition was filed with the National Company Law Tribunal which will hear the case in December.

Broadcast

TV Today’s revenues from its broadcasting business remained flat YoY at Rs 140 crore, profit from the segment also remained flat YoY. The network just launched a new news channel ‘Bihar Tak’, it now runs four regional channels – Aaj Tak, Dilli Aaj Tak, Tez and Bihar Tak. It also runs the English news channel India Today TV (earlier Headlines Today). The TV business accounts for the majority — 86% — of the company’s revenue.

However, the group’s revenues and profit from the segment fell 11.7% and 25% over the last quarter.

  • Revenues: Rs 140 crore, down from the Rs 158.8 crore in the previous quarter
  • Profit: Rs 42 crore, down from the Rs 57 crore in the previous quarter

Radio

The company’s revenues from the radio broadcasting business grew 43% YoY to Rs 5.8 crore, but losses ballooned to Rs 4.4 crore from Rs 2.9 crore in Q2FY18 — 54% increase in losses. Even in the last quarter, losses were much lower at Rs 1 crore. Radio accounts for just 3.5% of the company’s revenue.

The company’s mounting losses in radio may be why it is selling off its radio business which comprises 3 radio stations in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Its board has approved the sale via a non-binding contract on a slump sale basis to Entertainment Network India Ltd (ENIL). It has filed an application for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s (MIB) approval for the sale.

TV Today had sold off 11 of its radio stations to ENIL; 4 in December 2015 and 7 in February 2015. ENIL runs Radio Mirchi.

New CEO appointed

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The company appointed Vivek Khanna as CEO in August. Khanna was CEO of the India Today Group (Living Media India Ltd), which is the holding company and promoter of the TV Today Network. Khanna is a media business veteran. He has been the CEO at Hindustan Media Ventures, and was the business head of Mint, the financial newspaper run by HT Media.

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