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NDTV Convergence Revenue Doubles YoY; NDTV Top Management Shuffle

Media house NDTV's digital arm NDTV Convergence has said that its revenue has nearly doubled year-on-year in the first quarter of the fiscal 2011.

NDTV Convergence runs various portals such as the flagship website NDTV.com and sub-sites NDTV Profit, Khabar, Movies, Cricket, Doctor, Cooks, Good Times, as well as the video site Tubaah. Together, they have reached a record 286 million page views in March, 2011. Now, the company reports that the page views for NDTV.com have been averaging close to 140 million per month, up from 95 million per month last year.

Unique visitors to NDTV's sites have increased 50 per cent on a year-on-year basis, the company has stated. It also expects a new stream of revenue to open up with mid-roll advertising, which is expected to boost the video revenue by 100 per cent.

On the mobile front, NDTV Convergence has a mobile channel called NDTV Active and has launched a series of new value-added services. Its cricket and news applications recorded over 6.5 lakh downloads while NDTV Android apps registered a growth of 60 per cent in the quarter. Its iPhone and iPad apps also climbed by 40 per cent in the quarter.

NDTV Financials

On a consolidated basis, NDTV has reported a significant reduction in net losses, both sequentially and yearly. From Rs 31.11 crore in the quarter ended June, 2010, it is now at Rs 17.98 crore in the quarter ended June, 2011. In the previous quarter (ended March, 2011), the company had registered a consolidated net loss of Rs. 63.67 crore.

Income from operations has fallen 18.57 per cent sequentially, from Rs 131.87 crore to Rs 107.37 crore, in the quarter ended June, 2011, and has risen from 20 per cent from Rs 89.42 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

NDTV runs three news channels – NDTV 24/7, NDTV India, and NDTV Profit, as well as NDTV Good Times, NDTV Hindu and global channels Astro Awani, a channel in Malaysia, and Independent Television with Beximco Group in Bangladesh. Its subsidiaries include NDTV Lifestyle, NDTV Convergence and NDTV Labs (which develops media software and technology), plus a 50:50 joint venture with IT company Genpact called NGEN Media Services, a media process outsourcing business.

With lower dependence on ad revenues, NDTV's news channels unit has registered a turnaround in the quarter. The company has reported a turnaround in standalone net profit in the quarter at Rs 9.8 crore, as compared to a loss of Rs 24.12 crore in the same quarter last year. It has witnessed 14.21 per cent rise in standalone revenue, from Rs 74.36 crore in the same quarter last year to Rs 84.93 crore in the first quarter of the new fiscal.

Highlights

Compared to the same quarter last year, revenue from NDTV Worldwide has risen 82 per cent. The business has expanded its service offerings into the regional markets across India and emerging markets in Asia, such as Astro Awani in Malaysia and Independent Television in Bangladesh. The news and current affairs channel Independent Television was launched in association with the Beximco Group on July 28, 2011.

Revenue from NDTV's Lifestyle business increased 40 per cent over the same quarter last year. In the quarter, the company has focused on setting the stage for scaling up its flagship channel NDTV Good Times. Now, a distribution expansion exercise is underway and several shows are in the pilot and production stages, which will be launched this year.

Management Changes

NDTV has also announced top management changes. KVL Narayan Rao has been appointed executive vice-chairperson of the company. Rao had led NDTV for eight years as executive director and for the last five years, he has been the CEO of the NDTV Group. Executive co-chairpersons Radhika and Prannoy Roy said, "We believe that this is an opportune time for him to take on a new and even more challenging role in the organisation. We are delighted that he will be joining us in the Chairperson Group."

The current CEO of NDTV Convergence and NDTV Profit, Vikram Chandra, will take over from Rao as CEO of the NDTV Group.

Recently, NDTV Convergence's national head of strategy — sales and marketing Vikramaditya Sharma moved to information and measurement firm The Nielsen Company as head of its online business.

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