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Strong Q1 performance from Reliance Broadcast Network

India's Reliance Broadcast Network (RBNL) has achieved operating break-even during a robust first quarter, reporting a consolidated total income of INR611 million (€7.55 million) and consolidated EBITDA of INR9 million (€111,255).

RBNL's television business registered 36.85% year-on-year growth for the quarter ended 30 June 2013, with revenues of INR84 million (€1.04 million).

The company runs the TV channels BIG CBS Love, BIG CBS Prime, and a regional general entertainment channel Spark for Punjab, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh (PCHP) region through a joint venture with CBS Studios International.

It has another joint venture with Europe's RTL Group which operates BIG RTL Thrill – a dual feed channel targeted at male audiences – and BIG Magic, a general entertainment channel.

"Reliance Broadcast Network has delivered robust performance, breaking even at the operating level. Radio has delivered the highest ever Q1 performance, fortifying its position as the leading national network and both key businesses of radio and television are primed to benefit from the impending government reforms," said Tarun Katial, chief executive officer, RBNL.

Helping the growth, the company said its flagship general entertainment channel BIG Magic is now distributed across the Hindi-speaking markets, and has been made available on all the major direct-to-home and digital cable TV platforms. Furthermore, Big Magic Bihar and Jharkhand has sustained market leadership with 36 gross ratings points (GRPs).

"We continue to expand the reach of our TV channels," Katial added. "We have steadily expanded distribution, benefiting from phase II of television digitisation. Also, TRAI's mandate to regulate advertisement inventory to ten minutes per clock hour will translate into more equitable distribution of advertisement inventory across channels, resulting in increased advertisement flow."

The broadcaster also reported a 31.26% increase in revenues from its radio division (to INR474 million), ahead of the phase III actions, which will see an expansion of private FM radio in 294 additional Indian cities.

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