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Jio posts modest Q4 growth, JioCinema merger completes

Reliance Industries-owned Indian telecom and TV service provider Jio saw its revenues grow by 14.3% for the fourth quarter of 2022 to INR29,871 crore (€3.3 billion).

EBITDA for the quarter was INR12,767 crore, up 16.9%.

Full-year revenues stood at INR115,099 crore, up from INR95,804 crore in 2021.

Reliance Industries said the growth in revenue came after an earlier price hike and ramp up of wireline services.

Jio had 439.3 million customers at the end of the year, up 7.1% year-on-year, with ARPU standing at INR178.8 per month, up 6.7%.

The company highlighted its 5G rollout, where it extended coverage of its True5G services to over 2,300 cities/ towns across India.

TV highlights included the first ever Women’s Premier League 2023 on JioCinema which achieved monthly active user (MAU) base of 45 million with average time spent of 50 minutes per user per day across the 26 matches.

The Q4 numbers were seen as reflecting a slow-down in growth for the company after stronger performances in previous quarters.

Akash M Ambani, Reliance Jio Infocomm chairman, said, “Jio has taken formidable strides in pioneering 5G rollout across the country with unmatched speed of execution. 5G has led to a significant improvement in customer experience, reflected in the higher engagement levels among Jio users. Jio remains committed to build a robust digital society with tailormade technology platforms which will drive sustained growth in earning and value for all stakeholders.”

The results follow last week’s announcement that Viacom18, the media outfit majority owned by Reliance Industries but also backed by James Murdoch and Uday Shankar, had completed the merger of JioCinema with its own streaming offering Voot following regulatory approval.

Viacom18 had previously announced a partnership with Murdoch and Shankar’s Bodhi Tree Systems to set up a joint streaming giant with the latter making a major investment in Viacom18. However, Bodhi Tree has since cut its planned investment in the streamer from US$1.78 billion to US$528 million due to uncertainty about the economic outlook.

Viacom owns streaming rights to the Indian Premier League cricket, the biggest sporting tournament in the sub-continent, for which it paid INR28,758 crore. The company ultimately plans to merge Voot into JioCinema to create a single streaming platform for India, with the IPL being distributed via the JioCinema app.

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