India's New Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV), part of the billionaire Gautam Adani-led Adani Group, reported a third-quarter loss on Tuesday, as businesses cut back on advertising spending.

Companies diverted advertising spends to the cricket world cup during the quarter, hurting broadcasters that were unaffiliated with the tournament. Advertising is the biggest source of revenue for a broadcaster.

NDTV's consolidated net loss stood at 95.5 million rupees ($1.2 million) in the three months to Dec. 31 against a profit of 25.9 million rupees a year earlier.

Weak advertising spends have been hurting the news network, which posted its fifth straight revenue drop in the December quarter.

Revenue fell 7% to 979.5 million rupees, while expenses climbed one-fourth on a nearly 35% jump in production expenses and cost of services.

Rival TV18 Broadcast had posted a quarterly loss earlier this month.

Another competitor Zee Entertainment, embroiled in conflicts related to its failed merger with Sony's India unit and licensing rights with Disney, will report next month.

NDTV had posted a profit in the September quarter, and profit had last risen in June 2022.

The Adani Group had taken control of the news network from its founders in December 2022.

($1 = 83.1066 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Varun Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)