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Sun TV open to selling IPL franchise

MUMBAI: Kalanithi Maran-promoted
Sun TV Network is open to selling its
loss-making IPL franchise even as the
cash-rich T20 league has generated
controversies over spot-fixing and
betting charges.
Sun TV Network, which had bought the
Hyderabad team in October 2012 with a
winning bid of Rs 425 crore (Rs 4.25
billion), is open to hiving off the IPL
franchise into a separate entity for a
possible sale.
No steps, however, have been taken
to work towards a sale of the IPL
franchise. A decision has also not
been taken in this regard.
Sun TV Network’s operating loss from
IPL widened in FY15 to Rs 58.33 crore
(Rs 583.3 million), from Rs 36.53
crore (Rs 365.3 million) a year ago.
Revenue fell in FY15 to Rs 100.2
crore (Rs 1 billion), from Rs 105.53
crore (Rs 1.06 billion) in the prior
In the first quarter of this fiscal, the
loss from IPL was Rs 56.61 crore (Rs
566 million) compared to Rs 43.45
crore (Rs 434 million) in the previous
year. Revenue fell 15 per cent year
on year to Rs 96.55 crore (Rs 966
Last month, Justice RM Lodha
Committee suspended Chennai Super
Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals
(RR) from participating in the IPL for
two years. The committee also
proposed suspending CSK’s Gurunath
Meiyappan and RR’s Raj Kundra for
life from any involvement with the
BCCI in any form.
Meanwhile, Sun TV Network’s
investment in the acquisition of movie
rights for broadcast is expected to be
between Rs 450 crore and Rs 480
crore (Rs 4.5–4.8bn) in FY16. The
amounts spent on purchase of movie
rights for satellite broadcast have
been around the same levels for the
past couple of years. Sun has a library
of 11,000 movies.
Sun TV Network’s ad revenue growth,
driven by FMCG, telecom and auto
sector, is likely to be in the low-to-
mid teens for the fiscal. In the first
quarter ended 30 June 2015, the
company reported a 15.7 per cent
jump in ad revenue from the year-ago
period to Rs 323.9 crore (Rs 3.24
billion). Growth was largely triggered
by higher ad volume consumption. E-
commerce is a new category on the
Sun TV continues to sell around 18
minutes of ad inventory in prime time
across its general entertainment
channels (GECs). For driving growth,
the focus is on higher inventory
utilisation in non-GEC channels such
as comedy and music. In FY16, ad
volume-driven growth is likely to be
over 10 per cent.
Subscription revenue growth in the
fiscal is expected to be 10–12 per
cent. Sun TV’s direct-to-home (DTH)
subscriber base stood at 10.9 million
as of 30 June 2015.
Sun’s capex for the FM radio business
is expected to be around Rs 300 crore
(Rs 3 billion) in FY16.

Sun TV open to selling IPL franchise

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