Free-to-air satellite broadcaster OpenView is fast closing in on 1.5 million active set-top boxes, growing its customer base by 42% in the past 12 months.
OpenView, which is owned by eMedia Investments, the same company that owns free-to-air channel e.tv and 24-hour news channel eNCA, had 1.43 million active set-top boxes at the end of September, eMedia Investments parent, the JSE-listed eMedia Holdings, said.
However, OpenView continues to be loss-making, according to eMedia Holdings, which released in its interim financial results for the six months ended 30 September 2018 on Wednesday.
“Included in the results are losses of R84.3-million from the continued investment into the multi-channel businesses from which significant revenue is not yet being derived,” it said. Losses in the prior year were R117.3-million.
“Advertising revenue has however shown significant improvement, increasing by 161%, from R22.2-million in the previous year to R57.9-million.”
With the strong growth in OpenView households and the impending launch of digital terrestrial television, it is confident it is in a good position to increase its revenue base.
eNCA performed well and continued to be the most-watched 24-hour news station on DStv with over 50% market share, the company said. “Advertising revenue in eNCA still shows good growth, ending the period on R57-million, up 10% from R52-million in the previous year.”
The news channel’s cost of sales was R133.6-million, compared to R133.5-million in the prior period. (eNCA also generates revenue from MultiChoice for carriage on DStv.)
E.tv’s market share, meanwhile, remained “fairly constant”, though it has enjoyed an uptick in LSM8-9 viewers — rising from 11.8% market share to 13.9%. However, advertising revenue declined slightly “in a very challenging economic environment”.
E.tv’s programming costs and other cost of sales decreased by 12% from R326-million to R285.6-million. “Management is re-looking at the schedule in order to maximise slots that are currently unprofitable.”
eMedia Holdings reported an interim profit from continuing operations of R48.4-million, up from R18.8-million previously.
The loss from discontinued operations was R29.5-million, resulting in profit of R18.9-million compared to a small loss of less than R1-million in the prior period. Group revenue rose 5.3% to R1.2 billion. — (c) 2018 NewsCentral Media