Entertainment firm devises strategy to scale up revenue by Rs 10,000 crore. in 5 years

Multimedia entertainment firm Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture between TV18 and Viacom Inc. of the U.S., has devised a strategy to scale up revenue by Rs 10,000 crore in five years. The plan’s focus is on expanding business in two key areas — digital and Tamil.

In 2016-17, the venture reported revenue of about Rs 3,040 crore. In an interaction here on Friday, Sudhanshu Vats, Group Chief Executive Officer of Viacom 18, hinted at broad agreement on an action plan to maximise investment in these two focus areas.

Unveiling the broad contours of the soon-to-be-introduced Colors Tamil, a general entertainment channel in Tamil, the Viacom18 CEO said that the revenue target also had a 20 percent EBITA (earnings before interest, tax and amortisation) focus.

TV18 became a 51 percent stake holder in Viacom18 by acquiring 1 percent stake from its U.S. partner for $20 million. Viacom and Viacom18 also extended their brand and licence agreement by another 10 years.

Scaling up

“Scale would definitely get dialed up in the wake of the change in the shareholding structure,” Mr. Vats said. “There is no doubt in that.”

Commenting on growing convergence, he said Viacom18 would be “pipe and screen agnostic...

He hinted at a hybrid business model for the Indian market place. Queried on the content sourcing, he said, “We don’t own physical space or studio. We follow the work for hire model.” To a question, he said going forward, contents would get democratised. Conceding that sports offered huge opportunity, Mr. Vats said that Viacom18 had tied up to telecast the T20 tri-series in Sri Lanka on its Hindi channels.“You will need hyper local content to be successful in India. The journey is already on in that direction for Viacom18.” – The Hindu