The Voice boosts RJR profit, as Reggae Boyz failure led to lower revenue

Wednesday, February 19, 2014    

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RJR Communications won big from US talent show The Voice in the last three months of 2013.

The media group earned $43.2 million for its December third-quarter, or 14.5 per cent more than year-earlier levels as realised advertising windfall from securing showing rights to the fifth season of the show, which was won by Jamaican Tessanne Chin.

Contrastingly, the failure of the National football team to qualify for the World Cup negatively impacted revenue.

"Strategic programming, which included the acquisition of the broadcast rights of 'The Voice' for both Cable and free-to-air television resulted in improved viewership and revenues in this quarter," indicated the RJR group in its shareholders report prefacing the just released financials.

Revenues for the quarter were $507.9 million or seven per cent higher year-on-year. Earnings in the other income category for the quarter at $20.9 million was flat when compared over the period.

The group previously told the Observer its Television Jamaica (TVJ) subsidiary benefited in terms of advertisements and audience attraction, though figures were not so forthcoming.

The Voice shown on US network NBC was aired live on RE-TV the cable partner station of TVJ, with a repeat broadcast on the local channel.

Jamaicans tuned in weekly to watch the contestants engage in weekly sing-offs.

Chin became the first Jamaican to win the contest, while second went to 16-year-old Jacquie Lee, and third to Will Champlin.

In addition to the title, she walked away with US$100,000 as well as a recording contract with the Universal Music Group.

RJR indicated that direct expenses for the quarter at $188.6 million increased by $15 million or 8.7 per cent due to the high cost of broadcast rights for the final matches in the World Cup qualifying football competition, which "failed to secure advertising and sponsorship support due to the underperformance of the national football team".

Administration expenses at $99.9 million dipped by $4.7 million or 4.5 per cent over the period due to internal reorganisation that lead to greater internal efficiencies and expense control, said management in the report.

Selling expenses of $87 million remained flat year-on- year. Other operating expenses at $91.8 million increased 9.7 per cent over the period due to one-off repairs at transmitter sites.

Over the past nine months to December 31, 2013, long-term loans increased to $259 million up by $62 million due to the commissioning of a new digital studio for TVJ in November 2013.

RJR shareholders equity as at December 31, 2013 stood at $1.3 billion.





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