As Nine attempts to cut costs by $266m this year, the free-to-air broadcaster could technically be in luck and save itself a quick $130, should the NRL be cancelled.
Nine withdrew its annual earnings guidance just over a week ago, saying the “rapid progression of COVID-19 is beginning to have an impact on Nine’s markets”.
And yesterday, Nine released a statement to the ASX, stating it is focused “on major short and long-term cost initiatives across all of its businesses”, as well as expediting part of the $100m, three-year linear cost out that was announced with Nine’s interim results in February.
Cost-saving initiatives include savings from the NRL, which could save Nine $130m, should the season be cancelled, which will be equally booked in the 2020 and 2021 financial year.
Nine CEO Hugh Marks said: “This is a very difficult time for all Australians, on many levels. Notwithstanding an expected significant impact on our business as conditions continue to evolve, we are confident that with our enhanced audience position, our mix of assets and the commitment of the Nine team, we will emerge from this period a stronger and more competitive company.”
Nine also outlined a further $68m in operational savings this year, including sales and product costs, operational changes, travel and withdrawing bonuses and commissions.
It will also save $30m and $10m in capital expenditure by deferring project and spectrum payment, respectively, until next year.
Meanwhile, Nine reported significant audience growth across all of Nine’s platforms, including linear audience growth on core news and current affairs content, as well as across Nine’s digital mast-heads.
It also reported both Stan and 9Now have accelerated growth in active subscribers and usage.
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