Nine records massive TV writedown

Nine Entertainment has made another writedown against the value of its free TV business after revenues declined in the last six months of 2016.

Hugh MarksThe media group said it was making a A$260 million (US$200 million) write down in the wake of half year figures that showed a 5.3% slide in sales.

Nine also had to pay Warner Bros. A$85 million after cancelling its output deal with the studio. It will be liable for further costs over what would have been the duration of that agreement.

Against a tough financial backdrop Nine said it will shave 1.5% from the cost of its free TV operation and is targeting a further A$50 million in savings by FY19.

Nine reported overall revenue of A$659 million and group EBIDTA profit of A$120 million. It said there had been a vast improvement in its 2017 ratings thus far and that its SVOD service Stan has enjoyed strong subs growth, although no figures were broken out.

Company CEO Hugh Marks (pictured) said: “We are very pleased with the progress we have made in the past six months and have delivered on our commitment to compete more effectively in free-to-air television at the start of the 2017 ratings year.”

Nine’s writedown comes days after rival free-TV net Ten issued a profit warning. The free TV players are lobbying hard to have the costs of broadcasting licences reduced.