By Chris Forrester
Viacom-18 is the Indian joint-venture between Sun-18 and Viacom, and covers top-rated channels such as Hindi-language ‘Colors’ and Viacom’s Bollywood-flavoured MTV India.
But the venture is still investing cash for future success, which translates into losses up 47 per cent to IR 532 million ($11m) for the quarter to December 31st, whereas a year earlier it turned in a profit of IR 460 million. This latest quarter’s loss follows on from two previous quarters of losses (IR10 million and IR284 million).
The channel launches that have driven costs up include Comedy Central India which launched in January, and Colors HD, as well as History TV-18. However, Viacom-18’s established channels, including Colors, remain operationally profitable.
Says Network18 Group CEO Sai Kumar, “During the last quarter, our profits from continuing operations were offset by largely one-time costs incurred towards investments in the expansion of our television channel portfolio and the conscious impairment of our film library given the deferment of our Hindi movies channel. We strengthened our television stable further with launch of new services such as History TV18, Sonic and our HD bouquet comprising Colors HD, History TV18 HD and CNBC-TV18 Prime HD.”