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Last Updated : Feb 13, 2019 04:21 PM IST | Source:

TV, film biz improve in Q3 for Balaji Telefilms, ALT incurs losses but subscription up

Meanwhile, the company’s OTT (over the top) platform ALTBalaji saw a growth in its subscription base from 5.33 million in the second quarter of FY19 to 10.50 million in Q3.

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam
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Balaji Telefilms, the Mumbai-based media and entertainment firm, saw its television business improving with an 11 percent year-on-year increase in the programming hours in the third quarter.

The company reported its third quarter results on February 12.

In the quarter ending December 31, the TV margins improved 27 percent on account of better operating efficiency and cost control as shows launched in the first quarter turned profitable.

In terms of average revenue per hour, the company reported 21 percent growth on a yearly basis (Rs 40 lakh – December 2018; Rs 33 lakh– December 2017).

In the third quarter of FY19, revenue from operations stood at Rs 111.5 crore – Rs 103.8 crore from content production and Rs 7.7 crore from movies. The TV segment reported a profit of Rs 12 crore during the period under review.

Revenue from operations in nine months of FY19 stood at Rs 358.2 crore – Rs 260.1 crore from content production and Rs 98.1 crore from movies.

The company, which provides premium content to leading GECs (general entertainment channels) such as Star Plus and Zee TV, claims to have a 16 percent market share in primetime ratings.

As for its movie business, the company has adopted a more de-risked approach and is making conservative investments after suffering losses for a couple of years.

In 2018, the company witnessed good movie business after it distributed Lipstick Under My Burkha. Hence, the company focussed on pre-sales to mitigate the commercial risk in the movie business and released no films in Q3.

However, the content line-up for the coming months looks strong with the release of Mental Hai Kya starring Rajkumar Rao and Kangana Ranaut. The company has recovered the film’s production cost through pre-sales.

For FY20, there are four films in the pipeline and the production cost for these movies has also been recovered via pre-sales, the company said. These films include Dolly Kitty Aur Woh Chamakte Sitare, Jabariya Jodi, DreamGirl and Kaju.

Meanwhile, the company’s OTT (over the top) platform ALTBalaji saw a growth in its subscription base from 5.33 million in the second quarter of FY19 to 10.50 million in Q3. Its subscription revenue stood at Rs 8 crore for Q3 and Rs 28.1 crore for 9M FY19.

And this has been the silver lining for the OTT player as it incurred a loss of Rs 36.4 crore, with its total income standing at Rs 8 crore and its total expenditure in the third quarter at Rs 45.8 crore (loss before other income – Rs 37.7 crore, other income – Rs 1.3 crore).

In an earlier interview to Moneycontrol, Balaji Telefilms Group COO Nachiket Pantvaidya had said that ALTBalaji was the company’s star performer in 2018.

In the third quarter, ALT released as many as six shows, taking the total number of shows to 33 as of now. Apharan emerged as one of the most watched shows for the OTT platform that also drove subscriptions.

For ALT, there are as many as 60 shows in the pipeline however the company has not mentioned the period to launch these shows.
First Published on Feb 13, 2019 04:21 pm

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