A video camera displays a screen showing people seated in a hall. (Photographer: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg)

It’s Been The Worst Year Since 2012 For Indian Entertainment Media Stocks

The benchmark tracking Indian entertainment media stocks has given worst returns in six years as the industry faces a growing digital threat and legal hurdles.

The Nifty Media Index slumped more than 17.5 per cent this year, its worst performance since 2012. The gauge tanked more than 23 per cent from its January peak, hitting a 52-week low of 2,792.85 points on July 16. That was primarily driven by a slide in Index heavyweights Zee Entertainment Ltd. and Sun TV Network Ltd., which lost 13 and 21 percent, respectively.

While traditional television still stays relevant, rising digital consumption will compel broadcasters to commit investments in developing and marketing content, according to a report by Emkay Global. That, the brokerage said, would impact their cash flows.

Even cable TV operators’ stocks were not spared with Den Networks Ltd. and Hathway Cable Ltd. falling over 50 percent year-to date. The slide largely came after Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., the telecom upstart of India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, announced its entry into fibre-to-home broadband network that will come with a set-top box to view content via the internet. JioGigaFiber is expected to be Ambani’s next big disruption after upending tariffs in the world’s second-biggest telecom market.

Shares of multiplex chain operators PVR Ltd., Inox Leisure Ltd. and Mukta Arts Ltd. came under pressure after the Bombay High Court directed them to allow people to carry their own food inside cinema halls. High-margin food and beverages business, according to company filings, contributes about a quarter of their revenue.

It’s Been The Worst Year Since 2012 For Indian Entertainment Media Stocks

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