Sun TV Network, which operates television channels such as Sun TV, Udaya TV and Gemini TV, saw a 41% fall its revenue from advertising and other non-subscription sources during the three months from January to March 2020.
The company, which owns the Sunrisers Hyderabad IPL team, was hurt by the impact of Coronavirus on the Indian Premier League, the movie business and advertising spends.
The company’s overall consolidated operating revenue fell by a 17% — or Rs 154 cr — to Rs 735 cr during the three-month period compared to the same three months of 2019.
While the company did not give a break-up of how much each of its segments contributed to its revenue this time, it did say that its subscription revenue rose 25% (Rs 79 cr) to Rs 399 cr this time.
In other words, its non-subscription operating revenue fell by a whopping 41% to Rs 336 cr from Rs 569 cr for the same three months of 2019.
It said that excluding the impact of the postponement of IPL and movies, revenues actually went up by 3%, but did not give a break up of exactly how much revenue it earned under each different heading.
The company gets revenues from a multiplicity of sources. It operates a direct-to-home satellite service, a cable TV network, around three dozen channels, a movie production house and the IPL franchise.
The only information it gave about advertising revenue was that it was down 6.3% for the full year ended March 2020 compared to the previous year at Rs 1,337 cr.
Similarly, it also said that subscription revenue was up 18% for the full year at 1,562 cr. This is the first year during which the company’s subscription revenues have risen above its advertising revenue.
Like most other major broadcasters, Sun TV saw a rebalancing of its revenues from advertising to subscription after it decided to charge higher than average subscription charges for its TV channels.
Because of this strategy, most broadcasters have seen a substantial dip in the reach of their channels as consumers opted to watch lower priced channels inside.
The fall in reach, in turn, led to a dip in the ad rates paid by advertisers.