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Colors on course to Rs 5 bn revenue in FY'10
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Swimming against the recessionary tide, Hindi general entertainment channel (GEC) Colors is on course to hit a full-fiscal revenue of Rs 5 billion while limiting its operating loss to under Rs 1.20 billion.

Aided by a string of popular shows, the Viacom18 channel has posted a first-quarter revenue of Rs 1.20 billion to be in line with the top league GECs Star Plus and Zee TV.

The channel's operating loss is at Rs 180 million, putting it in strong position to break even much ahead of the newly-launched GECs who are caught in low ratings, lower revenues and higher losses.

"It is better to play in the tier 1 GEC game and go out with full ammunition," Colors CEO Rajesh Kamat, who did not want to participate in this story, had earlier told Indiantelevision.com in an interview.

That theory seems to be paying off. Colors will see revenue upside in the subsequent quarters as it readies its big ticket format shows Khataron Ke Khiladi season two and Bigg Boss. International revenues will also start kicking in as the Viacom joint venture channel with Network18 Group launches in US, UK and the Middle East markets later this year.

"Colors will make a net revenue of Rs 5 billion upwards in FY'10. The big ticket shows are coming and international revenues will kick off in the year," says a source in the company.

The operational losses will be higher in the second and third quarter, but will be tamed in the last quarter of the fiscal. "The big ticket properties, which provide image to the channel, will not be individually profitable. So losses will be higher than the first quarter. For the fiscal, the operational loss would be between Rs 1 billion and Rs 1.2 billion," the source adds.

Viacom18, which also runs MTV, Nick and Vh1 in India, has posted a revenue of Rs 1.48 billion for the quarter ended 30 June 2009 and an operating loss of Rs 183 million.

"Colors is emerging as a hot property for Viacom's business in India. With its other properties like MTV, Nick and Vh1, Viacom's revenue game in India was very small. Now the international major can scale up in India," says a media observer.

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