French broadcaster TF1 said advertising revenue fell 2.2 per cent in the fourth quarter. The country’s biggest broadcaster said changes in structure linked to the deconsolidation of Eurosport France and lower advertising after the Islamist attacks in France in November were among factors dampening revenue.
Quarterly advertising revenue dipped to €472 million and operating profit slipped 42 per cent to €49.9 million.
The TF1 group’s four free-to-air channels enjoyed a combined audience share of 27.7 per cent among individuals aged 4 and over in 2015 (-1.0 point). Among “women aged under 50 purchasing decision-makers”, the audience share was 32 per cent (-0.7 of a point).
These figures should be seen in light of the specific market context, with the HD DTT channels continuing to gain ground, competitive pressure on programming and non-linear consumption on the increase.
The group’s pay-TV segment revenue was down €52.6 million year-on-year, reflecting the sale of Eurosport France and the shutdown of the Stylía channel.
Current operating profit for the pay-TV segment reached €33.7 million. This figure reflects the gain arising on the deconsolidation of Eurosport France (recognised in the first quarter of 2015) and improved profitability for the theme channels in France, which helped offset the losses incurred by the LCI channel.
Given the poor visibility for 2016 and the absence of any lasting improvement in the French economy, the company expects net television advertising market to remain flat. TF1 says it will continue to keep close control over the cost of programmes for its five free-to-air channels (including LCI), with the overall cost for 2016 expected to be in the region of €980 million excluding major sporting events.