Asheesh Chatterjee, CFO, Reliance Broadcast Network Limited

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

“Over the next 5 years, we would see around 40% of RBNL’s revenue coming in from the television play.”

Asheesh Chatterjee, Chief Financial Officer, Reliance Broadcast Network Limited is a  Chartered Accountant and Cost Accountant by qualification. Asheesh brings with him over 15 years of post qualification experience across varied sectors viz. assurance and consulting, financial services, manufacturing and media & entertainment. Asheesh Chatterjee leads the Finance and Legal aspects of the business, spearheading key initiatives like fund raising, M&A and JVs whilst strengthening credibility and reputation of the Company within the investor community.
Reliance Broadcast Network Limited is a multi-media entertainment conglomerate with play across radio, television, intellectual properties and out of home. It is part of the Reliance Group and specializes in creating and executing integrated media solutions for brands. 92.7 BIG FM – India’s largest FM Network with 45 stations, reaching over 4 crore Indians each week. BIG CBS – A joint venture with CBS Studios International, USA’s No. 1 TV broadcaster which has launched 3 Channels, BIG CBS Prime, BIG CBS Love and BIG CBS Spark. BIG MAGIC – marked the Company’s entry into the regional entertainment space, positioned as India’s only Channel exclusively for the Hindi Heartland. BIG LIVE – This division develops, executes and markets Intellectual Properties, integrated across RBNL’s media platforms. BIG STREET – In the business of acquiring and marketing of long term premium out of home inventory. BIG PRODUCTIONS - This division functions as a television content production house catering to the diverse creative needs of the Indian television landscape
Speaking with Yash Ved of IIFL, Asheesh Chatterjee says, “Over the next 5 years, we would see around 40% of RBNL’s revenue coming in from the television play.”
What are your plans for FM radio business in India?
We are just a 4-year-old radio business. We have been able to do topline of Rs2bn on our radio business. The sector is challenged because of regulatory issues. We have missed out some of important cities like Pune, Ahmedabad, Patna and Lucknow.
The Impending Phase III rollout will be an exciting time for the company which has already built a robust radio network, and will get an opportunity to further increase its reach with the opening up of 223 new towns.
The opening of news and sports will be an impetus to further growth for the category. Multiple frequencies are also a booster and will enable category expansion, improve reach, effective rates and bring higher share of media spends to radio. Growth will come from the company’s ability to leverage networking in a significant way, allowing for low cost expansion in Tier II and III locations.
Overall 92.7 BIG FM reaches out to 41.6 million listeners nation-wide up 17% from last quarter.
The radio business currently contributes to around 70% of RBNL’s revenues.
Going forward, while the base will grow, its contribution over the next 5 years to the company’s revenue mix will be 40%, though growing 4 times its current top-line.
The Company also sees a healthy revenue stream from the internet and mobile radio space for which RBNL has already deployed. There could be also be consolidation in the market.
We are currently growing at the rate of 20-25%+ and we intend to maintain this momentum, over the next 5 years.
Give us an update on  your channels.
The Company currently has 4 Channels LIVE, the 3 BIG CBS Channels – BIG CBS PRIME, international entertainment targeting 25-44 yrs men in metros, BIG CBS SPARK, India’s first international youth entertainment channel and BIG CBS LOVE, international entertainment channel targeting 25-44 yrs Women in metros.
The Company also launched BIG MAGIC, positioned as India’s only variety entertainment channel exclusively for the Hindi Heartland – UP, MP and Bihar, featuring locally relevant entertainment around humor, Music, Movies and Bollywood.
BIG MAGIC has already established itself as the No 1 regional channel in these key regions for marketers. RBNL’s television business strategy is to target the top end audiences in metros through focused offering and mass audiences in India through locally relevant channel offerings while seamlessly integrating our other business verticals.
HD and 3D is the way forward and RBNL will soon be launching the BIG CBS mother channel in HD with cross pollination of the content from the 3 different channels.
The Company is exploring opportunities to grow its bouquet of channels to a significant number and also take them global over a period of time, targeting emerging markets.
Over the next 5 years, we would see around 40% of RBNL’s revenue coming in from the television play.
IP Story: Over the last year, BIG LIVE has executed 23 properties and will continue to build the IP portfolio across various markets, entertainment platforms and consumer segments. Going forward, this division will develop IPs focusing on Entertainment, Branded Content, Sports & Rural markets in this fiscal.
OOH Story: BIG STREET markets key properties along with all out of home inventory assets of the Reliance Group, focusing on premium marquee properties e.g. Delhi Airport Metro Express - which gives advertisers access to the hard to reach air traveler, Mumbai Metro and others. Going forward, the Company will continue to develop its footprint in organized & regulated markets with focus on improving yields and occupancy. The division will also actively leverage technology, packaging and innovation for its clients.
Brief us about your JV agreement with RTL Group?
Reliance Broadcast Network Limited and RTL Group, the leading European entertainment network has announced the signing of a joint venture agreement to launch thematic television channels in India, operated by an equally owned joint venture company.
The joint venture company will be a limited liability Company, incorporated in India. RTL Group and RBNL (through its subsidiaries) will act as shareholders with an equal 50% equity interest in the joint venture.
The initial scope of the investment will include two English-speaking thematic TV channels; a reality channel with international content, mainly from RTL Group’s production arm FremantleMedia, and a channel primarily targeting male viewers with action-oriented content.
Are you in talks for stake sale?
We are in talks with private equity firms and strategic investors to fund its expansion plans in radio and television segments.
Brief us about your financials?
The company has posted results for the second quarter ended September 2011. The company has posted consolidated revenues of Rs. 756mn.
The Radio broadcasting business stood at Rs571mn, while OOH business posted a growth of 45% y/y to Rs. 65mn.
TV Broadcast business reported revenues of Rs. 38mn, while Intellectual property business stood a Rs. 22mn.
Radio delivered PAT of Rs. 120mn vs. Rs. (32mn)  in Q2FY11
What is your current promoter holding?
Our current promoter holding stands at 67%

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