“The price at which we bought the IPL made it prof­itable for us, now it is go­ing to be dif­fi­cult.”

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bot­tom­line. The price at which we bought the IPL made it prof­itable for us, now it is go­ing to be dif­fi­cult. We might not have the rev­enue from IPL but the cost is also not there.


SET has had very high growth and the year has been ex­cel­lent. Af­ter a long time, we were at the No. 1 po­si­tion for a few weeks and all our big prop­er­ties have seen a 100% sell­out – be it KBC, Su­per Dancer or In­dian Idol... 2017 has seen a great run. Ad­ver­tis­ers ob­vi­ously pre­fer our chan­nels. The num­bers of KBC were be­yond our ex­pec­ta­tions and even the ad­ver­tis­ers’ ex­pec­ta­tions.


The ad­ver­tiser re­sponse to the up­com­ing prop­er­ties has been very good. We have sold the spon­sor­ship for Porus (Patan­jali Dant Kanti as pre­sent­ing spon­sor, Ray­mond and Ma­cho as co-pow­ered by spon­sors,

PCJ as jew­ellery part­ner). We’re try­ing some­thing new and dif­fer­ent and be­lieve the mar­ket is ready for that. The suc­cesses of our re­cent launches have led to the ad­ver­tis­ers be­liev­ing that we will be able to pull off a good prod­uct. The shows have been priced at a pre­mium. While KBC was priced at around Rs 3.5 lakh per 10 sec­onds, Porus and Su­per Dancer are priced around Rs 2.5 – Rs 3 lakh per 10 sec­onds.


The econ­omy will get bet­ter. The GST is­sues seem to be sorted out and I ex­pect things to only get bet­ter now. With our chan­nels con­tin­u­ing to do well, we will ride on chan­nel num­bers.

Jio In­fo­comm Ltd), with Voot (from Vi­a­com18) and Ama­zon

Prime Video round­ing off the top five. Sony Liv comes in at sixth spot, climb­ing up from sev­enth po­si­tion (in the sec­ond half of

2016). Com­ment­ing on this, Singh claims that SonyLiv has turned prof­itable and says, “We are build­ing it brick by brick. We have ac­tu­ally achieved a lot of suc­cess in the last one year.”

The prime fo­cus now is on Sony Liv be­com­ing the des­ti­na­tion for sports – cricket and foot­ball – which will help drive traf­fic to the plat­form. In ad­di­tion, the plat­form is ag­gre­gat­ing orig­i­nal con­tent, short films, re­gional con­tent, in­vest­ing in re­gional con­tent and has in­tro­duced food as a genre, ty­ing up with San­jeev Kapoor to launch FoodFood on SonyLiv to cu­rate the dig­i­tal food ex­pe­ri­ence. While all OTT play­ers are in­vest­ing in orig­i­nal con­tent, it’s catch-up con­tent that drives view­er­ship for SPN, and here Singh sur­prises us when he says, “The high­est con­sump­tion of Hindi GEC con­tent on any dig­i­tal plat­form is con­tent from SET and SAB on Sony Liv.”


SPN’s ac­qui­si­tion of Zee’s sports busi­ness has helped strengthen its sports play. The lu­cra­tive IPL had helped SPN build reach and made the network a must-buy for an ad­ver­tiser. Now, it needs to be seen how SPN coun­ters Star’s ag­gres­sive sports play and how as­sertive it will be when it comes to bid­ding for the up­com­ing

BCCI’s me­dia rights for all in­ter­na­tional matches in In­dia, which Star In­dia holds till March 2018.

On be­ing asked how the ac­qui­si­tion of TEN Sports has worked out, Singh says, “It’s just been six months post clo­sure and the in­te­gra­tion has got com­pleted suc­cess­fully. Our dis­tri­bu­tion rev­enues have grown on the back of TEN Sports. We’ve had two cricket se­ries, West Indies and Sri Lanka, and the third is com­ing up with South Africa. This has also helped us grow our ad rev­enues.

So, the TEN Sports ac­qui­si­tion has gone well.”

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