The consensus amongst the savvy investors is that there is great scope for media stocks in the Country and that hefty gains can be harvested from them.
We saw an expert report from Alphainvesco in which the dynamics of the media industry is explained and it is emphasized that the media stocks are a good investment opportunity.
This is the reason why most savvy investors like Billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Radhakishan Damani, Ramesh Damani etc have invested a massive fortune in media stocks.
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Rekha Jhunjhunwala collectively hold 5,48,10,000 shares of TV18 Broadcast. Radhakishan Damani holds (in the name of Brightstar and Derive Investments) 4,41,23,179 shares of TV18 Broadcast. Radhakishan Damani also holds 12,96,000 shares in TV Today Network. Ramesh Damani is also a major shareholder of TV Today Network with a holding of 8,69,686 shares. The holdings are collectively worth several hundreds of crore.
However, some experts are expressing concern that the concerted campaign adopted by the editors of these media houses to run down the Indian Government, discredit the Indian Army and adopt a pro-Pakistan outlook is proving detrimental to the fortunes of the media houses.
It is also alleged that some editors are deliberately trying to create a schism between the Hindus, Dalits and Muslims by giving a communal angle to any atrocity where the victim is a Dalit or a Muslim.
India’s left-oriented media leaders quick to criticize Hinduism, even in its yogic form, but quick to defend Islam, even in its Jihadi form.
— Dr David Frawley (@davidfrawleyved) August 27, 2016
If anybody is watching Bdutt program in West – he will think Indian Govt supporters are killing Dalits and Muslims randomly. Good Job @bdutt
— Deepak Singh (@smarket) July 27, 2016
Barkha Dutt of NDTV and Rajdeep Sardesai of TV Today (Aaj Tak) are said to be the kingpins behind the disinformation campaign.
We saw the bad press that Barkha Dutt has attracted in the piece “Ace Stock Picker Sanjay Dutt Of Quantum Securities Exposes NDTV’s “Sale Of Dreams” Scam Of Rs. 825 Cr”
Rajdeep Sardesai is sailing in the same boat.
Abuse of non-resident Indians for supporting NAMO
Rajdeep has also been running a sustained Anti-India and Anti-Namo campaign. He shot into notoriety when he got into a brawl with Non-Resident Indians in Madison Square, New York.
“Paisa aa gaya par class nahin aaya” Rajdeep taunted the public who had gathered to hear NAMO speak. He also abused them by calling them “a@rseh@ole”.
This provoked the public to such an extent that the issue degenerated into fisticuffs and Rajdeep got roughed up by the public.
However, Rajdeep has not learnt his lesson. Instead, he thrives on provoking the public by using every opportunity to attack the Country and the Government.
India is “Hell” under NAMO
Recently, when Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar described Pakistan as “Hell” for its open support to terrorist activities against India, Rajdeep Sardesai countered it by implying that it is India which is “Hell” under Narendra Modi’s government.
Hell is when you kill innocents in name of religion; hell is when you have no roti, kapda, makan, hell is when you loot and rape. #Sedition
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) August 23, 2016
Understandably, this statement by Rajdeep Sardesai also provoked the citizens and they lashed out at him:
— Jai Parmar (@jaiparmar09) August 24, 2016
— Satyendra Tripathi (@isatyendra) August 23, 2016
@sardesairajdeep hell is when you have journalists become prestitutes, a party's agenda loud speaker, sells everything for money and power.
— Suresh Kumar (@suressu) August 23, 2016
@sardesairajdeep hell is when portray your country in bad light for sake of publicity ,माँ और मुल्क बदले नहीं जाते
— (((चित्रांश ))) (@i_krisss) August 23, 2016
@sardesairajdeep waiting for the day sedition charges r slapped on u and ur wife u crook
— satish (@satish38433074) August 17, 2016
Extreme hatred of the public for Barkha Dutt & Rajdeep Sardesai
One can get a glimpse of the extent of hatred that Barkha Roy and Rajdeep Sardesai have generated from the fact that some citizens are claiming that “Half d problem country faces today will finish if govt cud plug lies n hatred of these 5 journalists”.
— Shashi Shekhar (@4ushashishekhar) March 28, 2016
Terrorists attack convoy in Baramulla; 3 Jawans martyred.
Azadi Brigade is defending slogans while Army sheds blood? pic.twitter.com/bgUSAJ406m
— गीतिका (@ggiittiikkaa) August 17, 2016
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev counsels Rajdeep Sardesai to reform his ways
The extent of negativity that Rajdeep Sardesai exudes is evident from the fact that he even provoked Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev by alleging that the International Yoga day (which was celebrated in 127 Countries pursuant to a resolution by the United Nations) was being promoted by Sadhguru and Narendra Modi to further their own selfish “brand building” exercise.
Sadhguru, in his trademark gentle and diplomatic manner, counseled Rajdeep that he should stop trashing everything that Narendra Modi does and should instead start appreciating the good things that he is doing for the Country.
Sadhguru lamented the state of mind in some people of finding fault with everything relating to India. “Even if something is done well, people have a problem with it and called it ‘brand building’ … what is the problem with this Country”, Sadhguru asked even as Rajdeep Sardesai turned crimson with embarrassment.
Deliberate provocation in J&K
Sajjad Gani Lone, one of the leading separatist leaders in Kashmir, told Barkha Dutt on her face that “the protests in Kashmir are not spontaneous” and that “NDTV is flaring it up”.
This was corroborated by Mehbooba Mufti, the Chief Minister of J&K. She pleaded with the Media to “let the J&K people remain in peace” and not to “stoke the fire by putting fuel on it”.
"Meri Media ke logon se bhi request hai ki mere J&K ke bachhon ko Aman se rahne do, aag me ghee daalkar aag bhadkao mat" – Mehbooba Mufti
— Ankur Dhaka (@AnkurDhaka) August 27, 2016
Are media stocks with Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai at the helm investment worthy?
Some experts are now openly questioning whether it makes sense to invest in stocks whose editors are attracting so much hatred and hostility from the general public:
How can any businessmen invest in a company that promotes Rajdeep Sardesai and Karan Thapar…beyond logic.
— Deepak Singh (@smarket) August 11, 2016
Porinju Veliyath, the noted value investor, makes his contempt for the duo of Dutt and Sardesai quite clear and calls them “anti-nationals”:
— Porinju Veliyath (@porinju) August 16, 2016
Boycott by viewers
Several viewers have stated that they no longer watch the TV Channels where the duo of Barkha and Rajdeep work:
— PapuKaBaap (@sudhanshu180) August 1, 2016
Boycott Anti National Channel NDTV also the product & company gives advertisement in NDTV to save the nation . pic.twitter.com/pgs69dBvNC
— TRUE INDIAN (@yeskaytweets) July 9, 2016
— mariappan (@mariappanl) February 19, 2016
Boycott by advertisers
The contagion has spread to the advertisers as well. Some advertisers have taken a vow not to advertise on these channels.
As a advertiser I already stopped running campaign on Junkyard NDTV properties. I already boycotted them from media buying.
— Sidharth verma (@sidvermaa) August 7, 2016
NDTV is sinking under heavy losses
NDTV’s Q1FY17 results were appalling. The revenue was down 6%. The operating loss increased 121% from Rs. 15.33 crore to Rs. 33.89 crore. The net loss soared 53% from Rs. 27.3 crore to Rs. 41.82 crore.
To make the pathetic results worse, we must remember that NDTV is facing a colossal demand from the Income-tax department of Rs. 825 crore. SEBI has also initiated action against NDTV for alleged violation of takeover norms.
|NEW DELHI TELEVISION LTD – Q1FY17 FINANCIAL RESULTS|
|PARTICULARS (Rs CR)||JUN 2016||JUN 2015||% CHG|
(Source: Business Standard)
No doubt, this sorry state of affairs is attributable to Barkha Dutt and the hatred that she has generated amongst the masses. It may not be long before NDTV files for bankruptcy if immediate remedial steps are not taken.
Ultimatum to reform or be sacked
Radhakishan Damani, Ramesh Damani and a host of other investors are caught in this unfortunate cross fire between these journalists/ editors and the public. Their investments running into several hundreds of crore stands the risk of becoming worthless if an emergent change in editorial policy is not undertaken.
The only way to salvage the situation is for the top management of the respective companies to give Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai an ultimatum and demand that they immediately reform their ways, become objective in their coverage and win back the trust and confidence of the viewers and advertisers. Alternatively, the duo will have to be peremptorily sacked and relived of their duties and be replaced by other journalists who can bring the media companies back on the path of objective news reporting and profitability!