ECONOMYNEXT – Revenues at Sri Lanka’s State-run Independent Television Network plunged 27 percent in 2016 to 1,885 million rupees, and the State lost 162 million rupees, while revenues at another state network also dropped but losses narrowed.
At Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation revenues (SLRC) dropped 1.4 percent to 2,115 million rupees and it lost 160 million rupees-lower than a 375 million rupees a year earlier, a Treasury report shows.
It is not clear whether revenues dropped due to competition from private networks for advertising.
The report said the TV stations should improve programming and increase viewership in the face of competition.
ITN lost 167 million rupees in 2016, compared to a profit of 327 million rupees a year earlier. ITN which also operates radio stations has reported higher profits that Rupavahini in the past.
The Treasury report said ITN had to strengthen its debt recovery system, indicating that the network was unable to collect some of the revenues reported. No details were given on which year’s revenues were uncollected.
ITN was also building a high definition studio. Colombo/June22/2017
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State TV report losses in 2016
The State’s premier television broadcaster ITN reported a heavy loss of Rs. 162 million while the fully owned National TV Rupavahini incurred a marginal loss of Rs. 36 mn in 2016, according the Annual Financial Report of the Finance Ministry put out recently.
The ITN recorded a loss of Rs. 162 million in 2016, against a profit of Rs. 587 million in 2015.
With the decrease in revenue by 27 percent together with a marginal increase in expenditure resulted in the ITN incurring a loss of Rs.162 million in 2016, as against the profit of Rs.587 million in 2015, according to the report.
The broadcaster’s investment in the construction of a High Definition studio complex had been cited as one cause of the decreased revenue.
However, the loss seems due to bad debt the broadcaster had accrued as the recommendations in the report suggests strengthening of debt recovery system
“Strengthen the debt recovery system of ITN,” the report said.
Among other recommendations the Ministry said that the broadcaster should implement strategies to improve the quality of programs, while expanding coverage in order to maintain larger viewership.
Meanwhile the fully State owned television broadcaster’s revenue had decreased marginally.
“The Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (SLRC) revenue decreased marginallyfrom Rs. 2,147 million in 2015 to Rs. 2,111million in 2016,” the report said.
“However, SLRC hasbeen able to decrease its loss by almost38 percent to Rs.231 million in 2016 incomparison to the loss of Rs.374.millionincurred in 2015.
The Ministry recommended that the SOE should expand its coverage as a counter measure.