BENGALURU - Indian broadcaster New Delhi Television Ltd, part of the embattled Adani Group, said on Tuesday that profit had more than halved in the third quarter on weak advertising demand.

The results come as businesses worldwide keep a tight lid on costs such as advertising to cope with an economic downturn wrought by persistent inflation and higher interest rates.

The broadcaster's consolidated net profit decreased to 129.1 million Indian rupees ($1.56 million) in the third quarter ended Dec. 31, from 276.4 million rupees a year before.

The drop was primarily due to lower consumption of advertisement inventory across news genres, NDTV said in a press release.

NDTV and other listed Adani-owned companies have seen their shares battered since U.S. short-seller Hindenburg Research on Jan. 24 raised concerns about the conglomerate's debt levels and use of tax havens, allegations that the group has denied.

Shares of NDTV have fallen 23.6% since then, compared with a 47.7% drop in Adani Enterprises Ltd, the group's flagship company.

Adani holds a 64.71% stake in NDTV after a contentious battle in the latter half of last year, a move seen as the end of one of India's last few editorially independent media organisations.

NDTV's revenue fell 9.5% to 1.05 billion rupees, while total expenses rose nearly 5%, led by production and employee benefits costs.

Its results were in line with those of Reliance Industries-owned TV18 Broadcast Ltd and TV Today Network Ltd, which runs the India Today and Aaj Tak news channels. ($1 = 82.7770 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)