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Morgan Stanley puts Star India’s value at $11.3 bn

Star India contributed 11.3 per cent of the overall fair market value of 21st Century Fox

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | September 2, 2015

Brokerage firm Morgan Stanley has pegged Star India’s value at $11.2 billion.

Star India

Star India is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, owned by Rupert Murdoch. As per the report, Star India contributed 11.3 per cent of the overall fair market value of 21st Century Fox. Morgan Stanley attributes the growth to the spurt in ad revenues of Star India, even as the 11.3 per cent rise comes amid slowing ad revenue for the media giant from developed markets.

As of June this year, Star India’s earnings from the entertainment business alone stood at about $300 million (about Rs 1,920 crore).

The Morgan Stanley report follows bigwigs from 21st Century Fox making a presentation to analysts in May this year. “We believe that by FY18 we should be able to deliver EBITDA in excess of $0.5 billion and by the turn of the decade, deliver an EBITDA of $1 billion for Star,” Star India CEO Uday Shankar had said at the second annual MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit in May 2015.

Earlier in April 2015, 21st Century Fox Co-COO, James Murdoch, while speaking at the Asia-Pacific Pay-TV Operators Summit, had commented that he expected Star India to become a billion dollar EBITDA by 2020.

Speaking at that event, Murdoch had said, “We love the India business. It has now evolved enormously from Hindi entertainment to regional language broadcasting and now we are a national platform. The sports business for us is a new pillar and we are looking at the business in a long term time frame. And if we keep innovating and investing in putting more creative and innovative content on screen, Star India will become a billion dollar EBITDA by the turn of the decade.”

In addition to a variety of entertainment networks spread across various Indian languages, Star India has made heavy investments in cricket, acquiring media rights for the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s domestic and international matches in India through 2018. It has also acquired the digital rights for the Indian Premier League through 2017.

Besides cricket, Star India also invested in other regional sports, most notably launching the Pro Kabaddi League last year. The second season of the Pro Kabaddi League that ended recently saw a spurt in viewership.

Star India’s portfolio includes 48 channels in eight languages, including Star Plus, Star Sports, Life OK, Star World, and Asianet channels.

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