Zee TV and ZEEL half-year numbers
Chris Forrester

Zee TV and Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEEL), two important portions of the Essel Group’s portfolio of TV activity released their numbers on Oct 23, but they are mixed.

For example Zee News saw a 14.68% rise in net profits y-o-y. Total income for Zee News, which also includes regional news and entertainment channels, jumped 26.4% to Rs 1.61 billion, while expenses stood at Rs 1.38bn.

Chairman Subhash Chandra said: “While the world is now coming out of economic challenges, our second quarter numbers are once again, re-assuring. This quarter saw the regional entertainment channels witness improving conditions and growth while news channels continued on their growth trajectory. Encouraging numbers posted by newer channels on their course to become driver channels is heartening."

But sister company ZEEL’s half-year net profits fell 37.72% y-o-y, showing how tough the trading and advertising conditions are in India. However, there are signs that the corner has been turned. This past quarter-year, for example, was significantly better for ZEEL than Q1 in terms of ad-revenues.

Chandra said, of ZEEL: “This quarter we had a healthy sequential double digit revenue growth, and we will continue to work towards growing margins as we work to make each of our businesses more efficient and profitable. The promoters are committed to ensure that all outstanding loans and advances from Zeel to group companies would be returned before the end of this fiscal year.”

ZEEL CEO Puneet Goenka also confirmed earlier reports that Zeel is to acquire the regional entertainment channels that are currently held in the Zee TV assets base. “Given its strong position in attractive markets and appropriate product fit, regional entertainment channels offers Zeel an opportunity to be a part of the robust growth being witnessed in the Indian regional entertainment market. These assets will help Zee Entertainment further consolidate its leadership position in the media and entertainment industry. The regional general entertainment channels will bring strength to the company’s operating performance from an already profitable business immediately accretive to revenues and operating profits. Zee has been focused on delivering long term shareholder value and this development is another step in that direction.”

The channels that will be moved into ZEEL comprise Zee Bangla, Zee Telugu, Zee Cinemalu (not yet launched) Zee Marathi, Zee Talkies and Zee Kannada.