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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

IBN18 Broadcast Ltd :Future prospects and growth outlook

Scripscan:IBN18 Broadcast Ltd

Story:CNN IBN, the English News channel, has managed to retain its viewership among the top two in the category along with Times Now.But it is gains from its stake in Viacom’s properties that are likely to be material drivers for the future.Colors, a Hindi general entertainment channel that was launched just a year ago, has managed a strong increase in viewership and has overtaken Zee TV to become the second most viewed channel, marginally behind Star Plus, going by TRPs generated by agencies such as TAM.Several of its shows, such as Balika Vadhu and Jai Shri Krishna have topped the charts in their category.New shows, such as the second season of Khatron Ke Khiladi, starring Akshay Kumar, and Big Boss are expected to keep up viewership ratings.The Hindi general entertainment category is the most viewed and most lucrative advertisement market among all electronic media categories in India.The top three players mentioned above account for a lion’s share of all viewership. Others such as Sony and NDTV Imagine are far behind the top ones in terms of the TRPs garnered.Colors hopes to garner Rs 500 crore in advertising in FY10, which would compare favourably with peers such as Zee TV with its bouquet of channels.This apart, MTV, is also among the top two in the ‘music’ category which has shows such as MTV Kickass Mornings which are popularly viewed. Another that is among the top few in the cartoons category is the channel Nick.These factors suggest that IBN18 is well positioned to garner and grow advertising revenues significantly.IBN 7, the Hindi news channel, a relatively newer launch, has not had the same level of success, with the channel nowhere near the top three in that group.IBN Lokmat did well during the general elections by garnering TRPs, but does face stiff competition from entrenched players such as Zee 24 Taas and Star Majha.The other revenue driver, subscriptions, is also set to go up aided by key factors — growth of platforms such as DTH which may reach 16 million subscribers by the year end, conditional access being mandated in 55 cities by 2011 by the telecom regulator and the group’s decision to start telecast of its channels in countries such as the US, the UK, and some West Asian countries that could bring in international revenues.IBN 18 operates two channels of its own — CNN IBN and IBN7. Apart from this, the company recently completed a 50 per cent stake acquisition in Viacom 18, which owns properties such as Colors, MTV, Nick and VH1. This apart, it is also a 50 per cent partner in IBN Lokmat, a Marathi news channel.At Rs 90, the stock of IBN18 trades at a fairly stiff EV/Sales (enterprise value to sales) multiple of about 6.6 times, which is at a premium to peers such as NDTV.But given the fact that its standalone business has become EBITDA positive in the June quarter buoyed by advertisement revenues through election spends by parties, and the fact that Colors is on course for breakeven in the next couple of years, as a group IBN18 may report improving performance over the medium term.Investors with a two-three-year horizon can hold the stock of IBN18 Broadcast, given the strong positioning of the channels that it operates, bright prospects for channels such as Colors, Nick and MTV where it holds an indirect stake through Viacom 18 and the improving outlook for subscription revenues that the company could garner.

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