|Contribution to headline earnings||30 June
eMedia Investments has a range of media interests, of which e.tv is the most significant. eMedia Investments is the only independent free-to-air television broadcaster in South Africa.
|FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS||Year ended
30 June 2022
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, eMovies Extra, eExtra, eToonz and eReality), 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 2022 were included in Remgro’s results for the year under review. eMedia Investments’ contribution to Remgro’s headline earnings for the period under review amounted to R145 million (2021: R43 million).
eMedia Investments’ share of television audience grew to 34.1% (March 2021: 29.6%), while e.tv’s share of prime time has increased from 20.3% to 23.4%. Further analysis of the group market share reveals an increase in both prime and non-prime time. The share ended at 31.8% and 34.1% respectively, making the group the biggest broadcaster in audience share in both categories in South Africa. This was driven by the performances of all the channel’s daily shows, i.e. Imbewu, Scandal, House of Zwide and Durban General, as well as the launch of The Black Door. E.tv may well be affected by the analogue switch-off (ASO) facing the country but the group is confident that the audience share will be carefully managed. This position has been further buoyed by the fact that e.tv has succeeded in The Constitutional Court against the Minister of Communication, thereby effectively extending the ASO cut-off date to beyond 30 June 2022. eMedia acknowledges the importance of migrating from the analogue spectrum and will now engage the Minister to do this in a responsible and rational manner that will not deprive millions of household’s access to television and will ensure e.tv’s market share for the foreseeable future.
There has also been an improvement in the ratings of the other six channels. eExtra, eMovies Extra and eReality rank in the top 15 of all satellite channels available in South Africa. This has been threatened by the fact that MultiChoice has not renewed the contract to carry our of the entertainment channels (eExtra, eMovies, eMovies Extra and eToonz) on certain of the Multichoice bouquets. This was taken to the Competition Commission, who ruled against the interim relief sought by the group. On appeal, the court overturned this decision with costs, ordering MultiChoice to reinstate the channels for a limited period of six months pending further investigation by the Competition Commission.
The Openview platform has increased the number of activated set-top boxes to 2 774 454 on 31 March 2022 (31 March 2021: 2 361 443), with approximately 1 200 daily activations. 60 000 units were activated in May 2022, with total activations approaching nearly three million households. Advertising revenue on the platform increased from R270 million in 2021 to R468 million in 2022.
eNCA continues to be the most watched 24-hour news channel in the country despite only being on the premium bouquets, while the competitors are on all DStv bouquets. Through the pandemic eNCA has achieved its advertising revenue targets while its costs were well maintained. The group has secured a further five-year exclusive agreement with MultiChoice for the carriage of eNCA.
In August 2021 eMedia launched an over-the-top (OTT) service, eVOD which has been well accepted in its target market. The number of registered viewers to date has been very encouraging with the average daily minutes viewed in excess of 1 500 000. The eOriginals offering on eVOD is the leading audience generator on eVOD making the group bullish about investing a further R100 million in local original content.
The 2023 financial year will see the launch of a new “smart” set-top box with built in Wi-Fi allowing the group to be innovative with advertisement revenue. The group will also start construction of the state-of-the-art VFX studio in Hyde Park to produce premium local content to compete with international players. The group is also planning to enter the pay television market.