- Consolidated revenues declined by 5% YoY to INR 13,480mn during the quarter, impacted by the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, while revenues declined 1% QoQ led by the high base of festive season during Q3FY21.
- Ad revenues during the quarter declined 5% YoY to INR 8490mn while Subscription revenues remained flat YoY at INR 4,680mn during the quarter & 1% annual growth for FY21 largely led by improved distribution tie-ups for TV and Digital. Ad revenue recovery annually was largely on back of Entertainment advertising ex-live-events (which were deferred) has grown in high single digits, as recovery from COVID was cemented with a full resumption in of original programming. Resumption of 2 channels on Freedish and strong performance of marquee properties Bigg Boss and Dance Deewane continues to drive up viewership and monetization.
- In terms of the TV News segment performance, Revenues grew 4.3% YoY while EBITDA jumped to 2.4x YoY reporting highest ever margins of 27%, up 1500bp YoY on back of cost rationalisation & strong ad revenue recovery. On the other hand, Entertainment & Infotainment channels segment witnessed a revenue decline of 8% YoY, with EBITDA decline by 5.8% YoY and margins of 18.8%, up 43bp YoY.
- TV viewership has settled higher above pre-pandemic levels and with TV households increased to 210mn vs 197 mn in 2018, penetration stands at mere 66% and TV has huge headroom with TV18 being a big player to capitalize on this growth.
- TV entertainment bouquet(34 Viacom18 channels+ 2 infotainment channels) share rose further to ~10.9%, up sharply from a low of ~9.1% in Q1. Hindi GECs continued to grow led by ad-revival, high-impact content and improved ratings. Deferral of key award shows was partly offset by Legends Cup cricket aired on Colors Cineplex and Voot. Regional channels are witnessing a steady recovery in both rankings and monetization. Kids channel grew strongly, while Youth and English continued to face genre pressures. Movie channels across Hindi and Regional are scaling up.
- In Q4FY21, EBITDA margins were 20.7%, up 380bp YoY and absolute EBITDA of INR 2786mn, aided by severe cost rationalisation measures whereby programming & operational costs were down 20% YoY, which was partially offset by jump in marketing & promotion expenses by 21% YoY and employee costs which grew 5% YoY. TV News EBITDA margin ramped-up to 27% in Q4 which was highest ever led by revenue growth of 4.3% YoY, while Entertainment EBITDA margins were 18.8% during the quarter.
- PAT during the quarter jumped by 77% YoY to 2511mn as other income surged 390% YoY(on low base), and interest expenses & depreciation declined sharply by 61% & 17% YoY respectively. Sharp drop in interest expenses was on back of huge reduction in the group level debt from INR 17750mn as on Mar’20 to INR 8930mn as on Mar’21.
Strong overall performance across genres
- Flagship Hindi GEC Colors maintained its strong #2 pay-GEC position, with a share of 17.5% in urban HSM during Q4. Bigg Boss S14 reached out to 165 Mn viewers across India with 107 Bn viewing minutes on TV making it the biggest non-fiction show for FY21. Dance Deewane Season 3 opened with 6.1 Mn Impression, making it the 2nd best Non-Fiction launch post lockdown. Chotti Sardaarni continues to be in the Top-10 fiction show list of the category.
- Hindi GEC Rishtey and Hindi movie channel Rishtey Cineplex made a return to the DD Freedish distribution platform after a year’s hiatus. This has helped grow ad-revenues in the rural and mid-tier market segment as well as network viewership share. Colors Rishtey has grown its genre share to ~13% as a result, while Rishtey Cineplex has garnered a ~10% share in FTA Hindi movie space.
- Amongst the other smaller genres, Kannada GEC portfolio raised its viewership share to 26.1% (Colors Kannada 23% + Colors Super 3%), Nick continues to reign as #1 in the Kids genre, with a 14.3% share, English entertainment genre had combined viewership shares at ~92%(VH1 and Comedy Central rank #1 (70%) and #2 (15%) respectively), MTV Beats at 19.8% share & History TV18 with 20% share with #2.
Digital Business Highlights
Voot reported an average daily time spent per viewer of >45 minutes. Voot Select launched in March’20 saw 11% QoQ growth in overall watchtime, led by subscriber growth with quality of content, before-TV delivery of shows, attractive pricing and smart bundling. Voot Select continue to be the home to Showtime, Paramount+ in India. Voot Select titles (“The Comey Rule” and “The Good Lord Bird”) featured in 2 major categories in 2021 Golden Globe nominations. Within live sports content, Legends Cup Cricket (Road Safety World Series) and Carabo Cup Football were live streamed.
Movies & Content Production Business – Viacom18 Studios
After the success of Jamtara’, ‘Taj Mahal – 1989’ and ‘She’, Tipping Point(digital content production house of Viacom18 Studios) delivered another major web series, ‘Ray’.
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