eMEDIA investments PROPRIETARY Limited (eMEDIA INVESTMENTS)
Remgro has an effective interest of 32.3% in eMedia Investments that has a range of media interests, which include South Africa’s only private free-to-air television channels (e.tv, eMovies, eExtra, eToonz and eBella), eNews Channel Africa (eNCA), free-to-air satellite platform Openview, Gauteng-based radio station, Yfm, and various studio facilities and production businesses.
eMedia Investments has a March year-end and therefore its results for the year to 31 March 2018 have been included in Remgro’s results for the period under review. eMedia Investments’ contribution to Remgro’s headline earnings for the period under review amounted to R1 million (2017: R49 million).
During the year under review, eMedia Investments’ results were negatively impacted by a new agreement with Multichoice, which significantly reduced licence fee revenue, additional investment in the Openview platform, a once-off write down of movie inventory of R69 million and an 11% increase in programming costs and other cost of sales. This was partly offset by a 5% increase in advertising revenue.
e.tv’s share of broadcast audience remains under pressure mostly due to the popularity of the SABC’s locally produced dramas. The company is limited by its production budget and profitability to produce equivalent content, but is confident that its current schedule should arrest any significant decline.
eSat.tv (eNCA) continues to perform well and continues to be the most watched 24-hour news channel in South Africa with just under 50% of the market share.
eMedia Investments’ results include operating losses of R367 million (2017: R395 million) from the Openview platform. The Openview platform has increased the number of activated set-top boxes to 1 149 217 (31 March 2017: 778 493). This platform currently attracts 3.5% of the television audience in South Africa and break-even is expected at around 6%. The investment in Openview provides the company with strategic flexibility and is part of its plans to address the challenges of the impending digital transition.