T.V. Today Network Ltd Management Discussions.

INDUSTRY STRUCTURE AND DEVELOPMENTS

The media and entertainment (M&E) industry in India continues to undergo significant transformation. Riding the wave of exponential progress made towards digital accessibility and adoption, the M&E industry has been a harbinger of a dynamic and aspirational India. While the economy felt the effects of a slowdown during the second half of 2019, the M&E sector continued to grow at a faster pace than Indias GDP, driven primarily by growth in subscription revenues. The Indian M&E sector grew 9% to reach INR 1,82,000 Crores (US$25.7 billion).

The M&E sector outperformed the Indian economy. Advertising, correspondingly, grew at just 5.3% though the M&E sector grew at a higher rate than the economy, demonstrating the relative power of subscription-based business models and Indias attractiveness as a content production and post production destination.

(SOURCE: EY - FICCI India Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2020)

The global economy is likely to see a sharp decline and may slide into recession. The impact of Indias economic growth will be a result of both global trends and the extent of proliferation of the Coronavirus (Covid -19).

(in INR Crores, gross of taxes)

Segment 2018 2019
Television 74,000 78,700
Print 30,500 29,600
Digital Media 16,900 22,100
Filmed entertainment 17,500 19,100
Animation and VFX 7,900 9,500
Live events 7,500 8,300
Online gaming 4,600 6,500
Out of Home media 3,700 3,900
Radio 3,400 3,100
Music 1,400 1,500
TOTAL 1,67,400 1,82,200

(SOURCE: EY - FICCI Indias Media and Entertainment Sector Report, March 2020)

Digital media overtook filmed entertainment in 2019 to become the third largest segment of the M&E sector; expected to overtake print by 2021. The rapid proliferation of mobile access is enabling on-demand, anytime-anywhere content consumption nationwide. For global players across the media and entertainment value chain looking for scale and a vibrant growth market, the Indian media and entertainment industry provides an exciting opportunity to reach and engage with digitally empowered consumers.

Subscription outpaced advertising growth. Advertising grew 5.3% while subscription grew 9.3% in 2019.

Digital subscription grew over 100% in 2019 as sports and quality video content went behind a paywall and telcos paid more to bundle content with their data packs; it now comprises 13% of total digital segment revenues. Entertainment apps are driving significant consumer engagement — India ranks as one of the fastest-growing app markets globally. The thriving mobile environment in India is creating exciting new avenues for media and entertainment companies to reach a significantly larger addressable market that now extends across the country. To capitalize on this opportunity, industry participants also recognize the importance of finding unique ways to appeal to the diverse Indian consumer base, as well as designing packages and pricing plans for services that align with local demand characteristics.

(Source: EY - FICCI India Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2020)

COVID-19 AND AFTER - A MEDIA AND ENTERTAINMENT SECTOR PERSPECTIVE

The central and state governments of India have taken several unprecedented and drastic measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus ("COVID-19"), characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. These measures include imposing lockdowns throughout the country and issuing various government advisories on social distancing and mass gatherings.

While the segments that rely on social gatherings like films, theatres, live events and theme parks have been affected adversely, the public adhering to the Advisory on Social Distancing has led to an increase in consumption of content on other mediums - such as television, digital streaming platforms, and gaming platforms. In fact, reportedly, viewership across several digital entertainment platforms in India has increased.

However, despite viewership on television channels and digital platforms increasing, monetisation and revenue earnings of these mediums are seeing a downward curve, as revenues in the media and entertainment sector depend largely on advertising spends from other industries. The impact of the pandemic and the global recession on various industries such as e-commerce, manufacturing, financial services, fashion and retail, automobiles, hospitality and travel among others, has led to reduction in advertising spends from these sectors.

The newspaper industry is also reportedly among the worst affected in India, with decreasing revenues from both advertising and circulation, given the nationwide lockdown; and is estimated to have affected lakhs of workers engaged in the news industry.

The onslaught of the COVID - 19 pandemic has changed the social lives of people across regions and economic sections. The lockdowns and restriction on movement of people has not only led to an increased demand for content but has also changed content consumption patterns. While traditional and outdoor mediums of distribution of content, such as cinema theatres, continue to be unavailable; the home consumption mediums, such as television channels and OTT platforms have gained even more popularity and viewership. However, despite the rise in viewership, monetisation and revenues are hugely impacted, considering reduction in ad-spends by other industries owing to the global recession.

With outdoor entertainment and recreation facing challenges in the near term, innovative outreach and delivery models are likely to evolve. Virtual live events and film exhibitors could be expected to leverage technology to reach consumers directly.

Given the above, while the media and entertainment sector is currently grappling with various challenging issues, however, as people strive to return to normalcy, eventually the sector may be amongst the first few to recover, and continue to provide to everyone across all mediums and segments, the much-needed entertainment.

SEGMENT–WISE OR PRODUCT-WISE PERFORMANCE

Television

(A) Performance & Industry Outlook

Television segment grew by 6.4% in 2019 while television advertising grew by 5% in 2019, mainly on the back of sports, marquee events and general elections for news channels.

The number of television channels reached 918, by adding 33 channels in 2019, 27 of which were from the non-news category. News channels comprised 42% of total registered channels in India.

Type of channels 2018 2019
News 380 386
Non-news 505 532
Total channels 885 918

As per TAM AdEX, ad volumes fell 4% in 2019. The main fall was witnessed because of fears of an economic slowdown. In addition, large broadcasters pulled out their GEC and film channels from FreeDish and made many of them pay channels, which also impacted ad volumes. The fall in reach due to implementation of the NTO also impacted ad volumes. Top 10 channel genres contributed 46% of total ad volumes with general elections aided the growth in share of ad volumes of Hindi news channels from 5% in 2018 to 6% in 2019.

Rank Channel Genre % Share
2018 2019
1. Hindi movies 9% 10%
2. Hindi news 5% 6%
3. Hindi GEC 5% 5%
4. Music 4% 5%
5. Tamil GEC 4% 4%
6. Bengali GEC 2% 4%
7. Bengali News 4% 3%
8. Hindi Regional News 5% 3%
9. Malayalam GEC 2% 3%
10. Telegu GEC 3% 3%
Others (68) 56% 54%

Television is expected to remain the largest earner of advertising revenues even in 2025, approaching INR 57,000 Crores. There is 64% growth in HD viewership in 2019. Further, news viewership grew from 7% to 9% in 2019.

(SOURCE: EY - FICCI Indias Media and Entertainment Sector Report, March 2020)

News consumption has grown up over pre-COVID-19 time horizon as people have been continuously relying on news channels for the lockdown and COVID-19 case updates. Therefore, Television has emerged as the preferred medium for fast and reliable news & analysis ahead of print and social media, as per survey by Statista. Accordingly, it is expected that advertisement spend may shift from the traditional GEC genre to news & movies, given viewership gains.

(B) Distribution & Impact on Broadcasters

As on September 30, 2019, there are 1,606 Multi System Operators (MSOs) registered with Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB). Out of these registered MSOs, 1,143 are operational. Further, as per the data reported by MSOs/HITS (Head in the Sky) operators, there are 12 MSOs & 1 HITS operator who have subscriber base greater than one million.

As per the TRAI, there are 330 pay channels, as on September 30, 2019, which include 232 SD pay TV channels and 98 HD Pay TV channels. Further, as per information published by TRAI, Pay DTH has attained Total active subscriber base of around 69.30 million at the end of September, 2019. This is in addition to the subscribers of the DD Free Dish (free DTH services of Doordarshan). The total active subscriber base has increased from 68.92 million in QE June, 2019 to 69.30 million in QE September, 2019.

As per Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India data, there is positive impact on High Definition (HD) channels where average time spent has been increased after new tariff order implemented by TRAI. Average time spent during the new tariff order (NTO) dipped down to 3 hours and 39 minutes but post NTO it has risen to 3 hours and 44 minutes.

An Indian TV viewer generally consumed around 3 hours & 40 minutes of TV in the pre NTO era, on average, in which he / she used to watch 10 to 15 channels per day and 25 to 30 channels per week. However, in the post NTO era, an Indian TV viewer watches around 12 unique channels in a day and around 30 unique channels per week. In our 2018 report, BARCs Broadcast India survey was used to size the TV universe, but for 2019, we have done a ground-up analysis as the BARC survey has not been performed post NTO.

News Genre

Television viewership was impacted in February 2019 during the transition period, but recovered quickly in March 2019 itself. However, the recovery was at a new normal, which was around 5-6% lower than before.

On the back of several key announcements by the central and state governments such as Article 370, the Citizenship Amendment Act, and a general election, the news genre witnessed a growth to almost 9% of total viewership in 2019, up from 7.3% in 2018.

Digital Media

Online video, audio, news and social media consumers all increased in 2019, with Digital media growing at 31% in 2019. Digital advertising grew 24% driven by increased consumption of content on digital platforms and marketers tilt towards measurability and performance. Paid digital subscribers crossed 1 Crore and subscription revenue grew 106% as Indians paid for online quality content. Subscription, which was 3.3% of the segment in 2017, increased to 13% in 2019.

(in INR Crores, gross of taxes)

2018 2019
Advertising 15,440 19,150
Subscription 1,420 2,920
Total 16,860 22,070

(SOURCE: EY - FICCI Indias Media and Entertainment Sector Report, March 2020)

Digital consumption has been one of the beneficiaries of the lockdown, though advertising led monetization, is not going to be immune to the overall cuts in advertising. However, digital subscription revenues could see an upswing post Covid-19 as habit formation in terms of OTT video consumption sets in.

Digital Infrastructure

Indians spend amongst the most time on their phones in the world with over 80% of their phone time on social media, news and entertainment. There are almost 30 active entertainment and news streaming apps in India.

(SOURCE: EY - FICCI Indias Media and Entertainment Sector Report, March 2020)

Online News

Online news audience grew to over 30 Crores across mobile and desktop users of news sites, portals and aggregators; however daily regular users were much lower. Time spent per regular user per day remained under ten minutes as per industry discussions, though it grew 4% in 2019, but the frequency of visits were relatively high, between four and eight times a day, and online news sessions grew 40% over 2018. Online news and magazine app downloads increased 12% in 2019. General news was the most popular product with 97% of online news visitors, followed by business/ finance news with 62% of online news visitors. 68% of unique online news visitors consumed news in Hindi.

Radio Industry

India has 33 private FM broadcasters in 2019, operating in 104 cities. Radio revenues of private FM players grew 5% in the first half of 2019, but fell 18% in the second half on the back of economic slowdown fears. Overall AdEX volumes fell 11% led by the fall in government spends on the medium. Combined [radio + digital] sales and solutions were offered by almost all large radio companies during the year. It is estimated that non-FCT revenues now account for almost 7-8% of total radio segment revenues (as high as 20% for some radio companies). Listenership of FM radio as per the Indian Readership Survey remained stable at 20%. Proportion of urban radio listeners remains almost twice that of the rural listener base.

Print

Print segment de-grew 3% in 2019. Advertising fell, while circulation grew.

(in INR Crores, gross of taxes)

2018 2019
Advertising 21,710 20,580
Circulation 8,830 8,990
Total 30,550 29,570

38% of India reads news publications; 5% read magazines and two-third of all readers are NCCS ABC. Further, 86% of circulated copies were in Hindi and regional languages. Total readership of English dailies shows an increasing trend, however, both Hindi and regional dailies show a marginal decline. Advertising revenues fell 5% in 2019 as ad volumes fell by 8%. Digital news readership grew to over 30 Crores Indians.

(SOURCE: EY - FICCI Indias Media and Entertainment Sector Report, March 2020)

NEW TARIFF ORDER 2.0

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), after getting implemented Tariff Order (NTO) in February, 2019, has given a rude shock to the broadcasting sector on the first day of 2020 by amending the new tariff order (NTO) and interconnection regulations. These changes will have huge ramifications for the sector that had slowly begun to recover from the twin shocks of NTO in the first half of 2019 and the ad slowdown.

Faced with consumer criticism, the TRAI has decided to put a cap on the a-la-carte price of channels as well as place reasonable restrictions on the formation of bouquets. The TRAI has also prescribed that Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) must provide 200 channels for a network capacity fee (NCF) of Rs 130. The amended provisions came into effect from March 01, 2020. In the amended tariff order, the authority has prescribed twin conditions to ensure that the price of a-la-carte channels does not become illusionary.

The TRAI claimed that amendments carried out through the consultation process has left the basic contours of the new regime untouched and the Broadcasters/DPOs will continue to enjoy the flexibility in carrying out their businesses. The review exercise has been limited to certain consumer-friendly measures and to balance the interest of stakeholders. The revisions strive to ensure that the objectives of the existing framework get fulfilled to a great extent.

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Star India, Sony, ZEEL, Viacom18, Disney India, The Film and Television Producers Guild of India, Asianet Star Communications, NGC Network India, and TV18 Broadcast have challenged the TRAIs modifications to the new tariff order (NTO), which is now called NTO 2.0.

The broadcasters have sought a stay on the amended tariff order and regulations contending that the TRAI sought to overhaul the entire method and manner in which broadcasters conduct their business. The Bombay High Court has reserved its order in the broadcaster versus Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) matter since both sides have completed their arguments and counter-arguments.

OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS

Opportunities

The Media and Entertainment Industry in India consists of different segments such as television, prints and films. This sector is witnessing impressive growth. T.V. Today Network that operates various portfolios, leverages immense opportunities available in this industry through the diversified portfolio. Amidst concerns of a slowdown in consumption, the number of digital consumers tripled last year. New products and business models are being imagined to capitalize on the rise in media consumption. Global players are recognizing the need to build India-centric offerings-with localized products and localized pricing models. The opportunities presented by the emergence of smart television sets and digital connectivity can improve the engagement between creators of content and consumers. The coming years are likely to usher in greater innovation in content formats, means of dissemination, and business models.

Threats

Various threats faced by Media and Entertainment Industry and in particular by the Company include piracy, violation of intellectual property rights, lack of quality content, etc. Digital ad fraud is a serious concern. The Company is continuously monitoring the various threats which can hamper the growth of the Company and is taking appropriate and effective steps in this regard.

OUTLOOK & PERFORMANCE

Televison

Our Company has been continuously focusing upon sustaining and enhancing its growth trajectory with the channels from the network including AajTak, India Today TV and Tez. The segment is growing consistently in market share, coverage and the credibility with audiences and advertisers both.

Its endeavour is to maintain the leadership position of News Channel AajTak as the No. 1 choice, which it has been able to sustain for the last 20 years in a row since its very inception. It has also contributed to the growth in advertising revenues. AajTak has established its supremacy as the Nations No. 1 News channel across viewership measurement currencies of BARC, TGI and IRS.

AajTak has maintained its Leadership among Hindi News Channels in the new Audience Measurement System BARC with a Market Share of 16.0% (15+NCCS All, HSM, April 1st 2019 – March 31st 2020, Relative Share basis Imp 000 out of 14 Hindi News Channels). AajTak has also crossed average weekly 10.1 Crores viewers touching a maximum of 18.8 Crores in 2019-20 (15+NCCS All, HSM, Wk 1419-1320, Coverage).

During major event day AajTak becomes no.1 TV channel surpassing GEC/Movie/Sports genre in terms of Coverage. On the day of Abhinanadan return AajTak was no.1 TV channel in terms of viewership (Source - BARC, TG- Universe, 1st March 19, Market – India, Gross Impression000). Whereas on special day like General Elections (Source – BARC, TG – Universe, 23rd May 19, Market – India, cov000), On the day of surgical Strike (Source – BARC, Market – India, TG – 15+, 26th Feb 19, cov000) or Ayodhya verdict day (Source: BARC,TG: 2+, Mkt: India, 09th Nov 19, cov00) AajTak become no.1 TV channel in terms of coverage.

The Networks English news channel, India Today Television has shown substantial growth compared to other leading English news channels in Q4 w.r.t Q3, channel has registered 78% growth in this period. India Today Television was much appreciated in terms of rating for accurate exit poll and election coverage. During the telecast of general election exit poll India Today television was No.1 with 35.4% market share (Source – BARC, TG- 22+ M AB, Market – Mega cities, period- 19th May 2019, TB- 17:00 -21:00 hrs). During Q4 in the premium target audience category (NCCS A), India Today television is No.2, behind the No.1 by a very thin margin. India Today TV has registered 26.1% Market share (Source: BARC, NCCS A Megacities, Q4 Wk120 – Wk1320 Relative Share basis Imp 000 out of 9 English News Channels).

The Hindi News channel "Tez" from the Network has already left behind National news channels like TV9 Bharatvarsh, NDTV India, Zee Hindustan, India News and DD News. Tez in Q4 w.r.t Q3 has registered 20% growth in Gross Impressions and 13% growth in Cume Rch000. (Source- BARC, Market- HSM, TG- 15+ NCCS All, Period: As mentioned, (Cume Rch000 and Gross Imp000).

All channels have contributed to the revenue growth of the Company in the financial year ended 2019-20 and all the brands are expected to further propel the growth of the Company in the coming years. The Company is constantly investing in content as well as marketing & distribution on the basis of detailed research in order to achieve better ratings.

The Company has been innovative: 1) it was among the first to use 3D-augmented reality graphics during the Uttar Pradesh elections, 2) it was the first to use drone cameras, and 3) it was the first to launch Election Express —the only LIVE and on-the-move newsroom and the first Hindi news channel to beat GEC channels on coverage. The Company has been at the forefront of pioneering new technologies and offering differentiated viewing. The launch of the high definition (HD) channel "Aajtak HD" strengthened its competitive positioning, consolidated its leadership in the Hindi-speaking belt and has become the channel of choice among the afluent.

Digital

Apart from its flagship channels, the Company has a well-diversified portfolio of channels, from general news to sports, astrology, food & cooking, tech and fitness referred to as the "Taks" to cater to the needs of every consumer. Further, the Company has been innovative with offerings in broadcasting as well as digital to attract consumers with varied preferences. www.aajtak.in crossed 30 Million subscriber mark on YouTube (as of March20 end) and retains its position as Worlds No 1 YouTube Channel in its segment. www.thelallantop.com achieved 12.4 million subscriber mark and received the Diamond Button to become first digital news channel to receive YouTube Diamond Play Button. The Mobile Tak App of the Company is live with 24 Mobile Tak Channels which has massive reach i.e. 31.96 million subscribers & 7.15 million Facebook Likes.

The Company has aggressively committed its resources to filter out and expose fake news. With the sole intention to provide verified information, a separate fact check department was established in 2018. In FY 19-20, the team has debunked over a thousand stories. Hundreds of stories get fact checked every month now. Whats more, a big team of journalists were trained about the basics of fact checking and IFCN principles. Apart from the head office, all the out station bureaus have also attended fact check workshops. All the fact-checked stories resulting from the efforts of the personnel involved can be found at https://www. indiatoday.in/fact-check and https://aajtak.intoday. in/fact-check.html. Your Company has thus managed to consolidate its position as an organisation that not only leads in breaking news but also fights the menace of misinformation circulating on various platforms.

Digital consumption to see rapid incremental growth with Indias "digital billion" trajectory likely to accelerate materially. The demand for regional digital content will rise much higher as growth will be driven by consumption in non-metro markets. Radio and print companies are poised to benefit from this change as they can provide short and snackable content to meet this demand.

(SOURCE: EY - FICCI Indias Media and Entertainment Sector Report, March 2020)

Digitisation and building strong integrated digital models will become essential rather than optional in the post-COVID era. For media companies, increased focus is required on strengthening technology backbone, as digital penetration is expected to become more widespread once we regain normalcy.

Radio

Radio will evolve towards performance advertising in 2020, with a heavier tilt towards SMEs and retail advertisers. The need to combine radio with digital will become critical to demonstrate value to advertisers. Radio will build-out communities through its RJs, using interactivity, gaming, quizzing etc., to enable the generation of audience data and providing segmented audiences to advertisers. News and community podcasts could also enable Direct-to-Customer community building.

RISK AND CONCERNS

Television Channels which remained on the FreeDish platform saw a significant rise in viewership and advertising revenues. With NTO 2.0 in force, reducing prices of channels that can form part of a bouquet could bring down end-customer bouquet prices and increase choice, but could have some impact on TV segment revenues in the event that demand does not increase. Further, applying a cap on the discounting of prices could result in closure of weaker and niche channels and consequent loss of jobs. The Covid -19 crisis has led to a sudden fall in advertising income which is an essential source of revenue for the media industry.

(SOURCE: EY - FICCI Indias Media and Entertainment Sector Report, March 2020)

INTERNAL CONTROL SYSTEMS AND THEIR ADEQUACY

Your Company has adequate internal control systems commensurate with the size and nature of its business. Your Companys internal audit process is being handled by one of the best audit firms, M/s Grant Thornton India LLP.

Your Companys internal control is designed to:

• Safeguard the Companys assets and to identify liabilities.

• Ensure the transactions are properly recorded and authorized.

• Ensure maintenance of proper records and processes that facilitates relevant and reliable information.

• Ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Further, M/s Grant Thornton India LLP conducts extensive audits round the year covering each and every aspect of the business activity so as to ensure accuracy, reliability and consistency of records, systems and procedures. The recommendations and observations of the internal auditors are being reviewed regularly by the Audit Committee.

DISCUSSION ON FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE WITH RESPECT TO OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE

The Company continued to show good financial performance in the fiscal year 2019-20. Total Revenue of the Company registered a growth of 15.97%, up from Rs 775.66 crores in FY 18-19 to Rs 899.57 crores in FY 19-20. The major factors contributing to the growth were advertisement revenue and digital operations. The PBT at Rs 219.78 crores in FY 19-20 was up by 8.46% over the figure of Rs 202.64 crores in FY 18-19.

MATERIAL DEVELOPMENTS IN HUMAN RESOURCES/ INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS (INCLUDING NUMBER OF PEOPLE EMPLOYED)

Your Companys employee strength as on March 31, 2020 was 1849 (Full Time- 1756, Consultant - 93). With human resources providing strategic advantage in the media sector, the Company has taken steps to improve processes for better talent acquisition, performance evaluation, merit recognition and higher productivity. The Company has also undertaken initiatives to build stronger employee engagement and talent retention. Core policies to enhance efficiencies have been implemented.

KEY FINANCIAL RATIOS

As per SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) (Amendment) Regulations, 2018, the Company is required to give details of significant changes (i.e. change of 25% or more as compared to the immediately previous financial year) in key sector-specific financial ratios.

The Company has identified the following ratios as key financial ratios:

Ratios

Standalone

Consolidated

FY 2019-20 FY 2018-19 FY 2019-20 FY 2018-19
(i) Debtors turnover (days) 115 114 116 114
(ii) Current Ratio (times) 3.93 4.31 3.96 4.39
(iii) Operating Profit Margin (%) 24.21% 25.79% 23.98% 25.85%
(iv) Net Profit Margin (%) 15.37% 16.53% 15.05% 16.60%
(v) Basic EPS ( Rs ) 23.83 21.80 23.36 21.97

Ratios where there has been a significant change from FY 2018-19 to FY 2019-20:

There is no significant change in any key financial ratio from FY 2018-19 to FY 2019-20.