EMEDIA, the recently created JSE-listed holding company of television station e.tv, fell into a loss of R88.8m from the previous year’s R152m profit.

The group, part of the Hosken Consolidated Investment (HCI) stable, which released results on Wednesday afternoon, reported a 1.7% growth in revenue to R2.4bn for the year to end-March.

“The core asset, e.tv, saw advertising revenue under pressure as a result of a sharp drop in market share in the previous financial year,” HCI financial director and eMedia acting CEO Kevin Govender said in the results statement.

In October 2014, a spat between HCI CEO John Copelyn and husband and wife team Marcel Golding and Bronwyn Keene-Young, who were running SA’s only private sector free-to-air TV station, saw new management introduced to e.tv.

According to Govender, e.tv has managed to recover its market share, “once again becoming the most watched English channel in SA”.

“The recovery, however, came at considerable investment in local programming, which resulted in cost of sales ending the year on R1.09bn compared to R983m the previous year, an increase of 10.9%,” Govender said.

“This investment was necessary and with the market share of e.tv now stable for the latter part of the financial year, advertising revenue should once again be more reflective of market share.”

Referring to growing competition traditional TV stations face from the likes of Netflix, Govender said e.tv faced “ever-increasing competition from non-linear broadcasting platforms”.

To deal with this threat, Govender said eMedia will focus on its home market and has written off R48.2m it was to receive for UK-based The Africa Channel as the purchaser has failed to deliver on payment.

Source: BDLive – Robert Laing