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Fremantle owner RTL’s quarterly revenues rise to $1.4 billion




Fremantle owner RTL's quarterly revenues rise to $1.4 billion

Revenues at Bertelsmann’s Luxembourg-based RTL Group, a media giant that owns Fremantle, rose 2.6% to €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) in the first quarter of 2024, driven by vibrant TV advertising and streaming.

However, this was offset by a decline in revenue at the group’s global content business, Fremantle, by 9.2% to €395 million (Q1/2023: €435 million), due to what RTL describes as “timing effects in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany. .”

“Fremantle revenue is recognized when a program or series is delivered to its customers, i.e. the broadcasters and streaming services. An example: the German version of ‘Idols’ (‘Deutschland sucht den Superstar’) has been on the air for many years in the first quarter of the year. The show will be on the air in the fall of 2024 [fall] – the revenues will therefore be recognized in the second half of 2024,” said an RTL spokesperson Variety.

Otherwise, it was a rosy picture for RTL, after a 2023 financial year in which revenues fell due to a weak advertising market. In the first quarter of 2024, the group’s total advertising revenue increased by 10.1% to €686 million (Q1/2023: €623 million), of which €528 million represented TV advertising revenue (Q1/2023: € 480 million), €80 million digital advertising revenue (Q1/2023: €70 million) and €77 million radio, print and other advertising revenue (Q1/2023: €72 million).

The group’s streaming services continued to show robust growth, with the number of paying subscribers increasing 24.2% year-on-year to six million and revenue increasing 41% to €86 million (Q1/2023: €61 million), driven by a significantly higher number of paying subscribers and higher subscription prices in Germany. Distribution turnover increased by 8.6% to €88 million (Q1/2023: €81 million).

RTL’s TV channels in Germany also showed an increase in TV advertising market and viewership share, extending its lead over ProSiebenSat1 to eight percentage points, the group said.

Turning to the outlook for the year, RTL expects 2024 revenue to increase to €6.6 billion, based on higher revenue from RTL Deutschland, driven by strong growth in streaming revenues, and Fremantle, driven by recovery in the US market . and acquisitions. It expects adjusted EBITA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) for 2024 to be approximately €750 million, with a difference of plus or minus €50 million depending on the development of the German and French TV advertising markets in 2024. This EBITA outlook includes higher content costs, mainly for the broadcast of Euro 2024 matches in France and Germany, and higher streaming start-up losses (2023: €176 million), mainly due to the investments in streamer M6+ in France.

RTL CEO Thomas Rabe said: “RTL Group is off to a strong start and in line with our expectations for 2024. We have strengthened our leading audience and advertising positions in Germany and continued the dynamic growth of our streaming business. Our first quarter results confirm our strategy of investing through the cycle.

RTL Group is looking forward to an eventful second quarter, with RTL Deutschland and Groupe M6 broadcasting UEFA Euro 2024 matches. In addition, M6+ will launch in France next week and Fremantle will deliver season two of ‘The Responder’, new thriller series ‘Nightsleeper’ and season 19 of ‘America’s Got Talent.’