Network18 Media and Investments Ltd, the media company controlled by Reliance Industries Ltd, on Wednesday said its consolidated loss widened to Rs 33.3 crore in the March quarter, from Rs 25 crore in the year-ago period.

The company, which has interests in television, films and online retailing, generated revenue of Rs 3,471.1 crore, up 5 percent from Rs 3,321 crore last year. For the full year to 31 March, the company swung to a loss of Rs 233.5 crore from a profit of Rs 25.4 crore in the previous year.

A decline in advertising spending following demonetization of high-value currency notes, operating losses from new initiatives in regional and digital broadcasting, and losses in the digital commerce businesses contributed to the overall net loss.

“The media industry is still facing impact of deferment of advertising spends that kicked in from November-December 2016 on likely slowdown in consumer spending. Further, the revival of advertising spends has been witnessed at a much faster clip for national channels, while regional markets are still recovering with a lag,” Network18 said in a statement.

Revenue from TV18 Broadcast Ltd, a unit of Network18 that operates news channels CNN-News18 and CNBC TV18, rose 7 percent in the year to Rs2,677 crore from Rs2,494.8 crore in the previous year. Net profit declined 90 percent to Rs19.1 crore.

Network18 also runs digital news websites moneycontrol.com, news18.com and firstpost.com as well as the movie and events ticketing website BookMyShow.

“The digital space in India continues to become more and more vibrant, as bottlenecks around connectivity and cost reduce substantially. We see the emergence of new formats and services, and rapidly evolving business models and aim to be at the forefront of this change. Our strength in linear media provides us the edge, helping us leapfrog in our aspiration to be a channel-agnostic provider of top-drawer content,” said Adil Zainulbhai, chairman of Network18. - Livemint


 

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