MTG forecasts reduced

Scandinavian broadcaster MTG, best known for its Viasat pay-TV services, has suffered ratings disappointment on its Swedish network channels during Q4, says a report from investment bank Morgan Stanley. This has led to a downgrade of the bank’s anticipated growth for MTG of 5.5 per cent for 2011, and about 3.5 per cent for 2012’s trading (on an earnings per share basis).

Sweden’s TV3 channel, and MTG’s flagship in the region, suffered falling ratings largely as a result of locally produced formats in prime time, says the bank.  Ratings on TV3 fell from 8.1 percent in September to 6.2 percent in December. “Whilst the Swedish TV ad market is estimated to be up around 9 per cent in Q4, we suspect that MTG is unlikely to have seen any of this growth because of its poor ratings performance. We therefore reduce our revenue forecasts to reflect no growth in Q4 in the FTA Scandinavia division.”

However, for 2012 the bank anticipates advertising growth across MTG’s region between 3-5 per cent in 2012, which ranks amongst the strongest in Europe. “It will take MTG some time to recover in ratings terms in both Sweden and Norway and re-gain market share. MTG has replaced the programming director in Sweden, but the new incumbent will only have an opportunity re-build the programming schedule in its entirety from H2 2012,” adds the bank.

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