Austere and reporting profits, NDTV to relaunch biz channel in new avatar

10 May,2013

By Ananya Saha

 

Happy days are here again for NDTV as it posts profits for the year ended March 31, 2013. NDTV has reported a PAT of Rs 2 crore for FY 2012-13 as compared to a loss of Rs 87 crore for FY 2011-12. It has reported net profit after tax of Rs 28 crore for this quarter as compared to a net loss of Rs 41 crore in the same period last year.

 

Vikram Chandra

Vikram Chandra, Group CEO, NDTV, told MxM India, “There are range of factors that have contributed to the profits. We have been doing series of austerity measures across the businesses. The benefits are now starting to be seen. To a large extent, we are trying to de-risk ourselves from the pure FCT-based model and trying other ways to provide brand solutions to companies. Those revenue streams are looking very robust and doing very well.” He also said the benefits of digitization, though it has been in play for the last few months only, are starting to be felt even as full benefits will be felt only in few months or year from now as subscription money starts to come in and carriage fees drops.

 

“Exciting new growth verticals, Convergence for instance, the online business has started to contribute meaningful money in terms of revenue and profitability. So that also adds to the impact,” Mr Chandra reasoned.

 

Mr Chandra also spoke about the re-launching NDTV Profit in a new avatar, when asked about the reasons to shift the channel back to Delhi. He said, “One of the big focus for us in the next few months is going to revamp and re-launch NDTV Profit. And as part of that, we thought it was not an optimal thing to do to have two hubs – one in Delhi and one in Mumbai. A lot of programming that the renewed channel is going to be doing now is stuff that can be very well managed out of Delhi.”

 

While he did not say anything about how soon will the revamp go on-air, he did talk about how the profits are a reflection of what the industry is facing as a whole. Mr Chandra said, “A lot of what we are seeing is the impact of external factors that the industry as a whole is seeing, whether it is on net ad billing or fixing the ratings system or digitisation, many of these are factors that the industry has been fighting and we are a part of it. And we hope to have some success in those areas.”

 

On the recent development on the call for a statutory regulator by the Parliamentary Committee over the issue of paid news, Mr Chandra shared, “Obviously, none of us like paid news. It is an obnoxious concept. In general, we have preferred self-governance and we have always preferred it as a way to govern the industry. We do believe, till the model of television news is set right – by digitization – and reliance of advertising and reliance on TRPs starts to come down, both will improve the business model of the broadcaster, and some of that would help remove some of these tendencies.”

 

During the year, NDTV Emerging Markets BV, a step-down subsidiary of the company, ceased to exist with effect from September 12, 2012, having been placed into liquidation earlier. However, Mr Chandra is positive about the future of the group. He concluded, “Once you start posting profits, you have to keep posting profits, is obviously our intention. Now, we cannot make a forward-looking statement as to what we are going to do, but we are going to take a lot of measures that will keep the business on a robust footing.”

 

 

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