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Breaking News : Star India’s sports biz moving towards profitability
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MUMBAI: Star India’s sports business is moving in the direction of profitability. There are three reasons for this. First, the investment losses in building the business have peaked. Second, monetisation of cricket rights is getting much stronger. Thirdly, the Pro Kabaddi League is showing strong growth. 255px-James Murdoch“The total sports investments for us in terms of the investment losses in establishing the sports business have peaked. Whether or not the total cost base of sports in the long term is over is a question of what the size of revenue is. So I would say that the investment losses in creating the sports business have peaked and we’re seeing the business move towards profitability,” 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch told analysts. Murdoch underlined that the company’s India subsidiary has not only hit a jackpot with Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) but the cricket monetisation is also beginning to show better returns. “We’re extremely pleased with how sports investments are going, particularly with kabaddi and cricket. Kabaddi is a new sport that’s growing very well. We will be investing in expanding that season and growing that sport. Also, monetisation of cricket rights is actually getting much stronger for a variety of reasons,” Murdoch said. When queried about the impeding Indian Premier League (IPL) media rights that is coming up for renewal next year, Murdoch said that the company was not really focused on incremental rights at this point. The property also has to fit in the company’s growth strategy. “With respect to India, I don’t think we’re really focused at this point on incremental rights, but in all of our sports businesses, not just India, we always seek a balance and we have to see when new rights come available, how they fit, how they would be monetised or other rights things that you would give up to pay for those. And you have to create a balance of investment there that you think is delivering the right value for customers and the right value for the distributor,” Murdoch explained. In the same breath, he also noted that the company might invest in new rights or let go others to avoid incremental investments. “So I certainly don’t think given the performance of the business, there is any necessity to have incremental rights on top of where we are today. But from time to time, we may invest in new rights and let other rights go or find ways to monetise new rights, so that it’s not necessarily an incremental investment. But we love the sports business and the cricket business is strong. From a monetisation point of view, it’s very strong right now for Star and it’s a sport that we’re obviously very committed to,” he added. The IPL, the rights of which are with Sony Pictures Networks India, is a strategic media property that every sports broadcaster aspires to have. It has a stable viewership year on year, which helps in monetising the property through advertisements. Unlike other cricket properties, the IPL is not shared with the national broadcaster, which brings in the exclusivity factor. This gives the IPL a distribution heft to negotiate better deals with distribution platforms.

Read more at: http://www.televisionpost.com/television/star-indias-sports-biz-moving-towards-profitability/ | TelevisionPost.com
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