A report by Italian investment bank Mediobanca has revealed that revenues of the country’s five largest TV broadcasters (RAI, Mediaset, Sky Italia, Discovery Italia and La7) have dropped by 13.5 per cent in the period 2011-2015.
The major factor has been a 25 per cent fall in advertising revenues, but TV licence fee (-3.1 per cent) and pay-TV (-1.9 per cent) revenues have also dropped.
Total net losses in the five-year period were €859 million, of which €453 million by RAI and €398 million by La7. Discovery Italia (€12 million) and Sky Italia (€5 million) were the only broadcasters to report an accumulated net profit.
Last year, the top five broadcasters achieved a turnover of €8.9 billion, a growth of 1.4 per cent compared to 2014, after three years of dropping revenues.
Discovery Italia achieved the highest revenue growth (+17.5 per cent on 2014), followed by Mediaset with 1.8 per cent (of which +1.4 in Italy and +2.8 per cent in Spain), RAI (+1.4 per cent) and Sky Italia (+0.4 per cent), while La7 saw a drop in revenues (-8.1 per cent).
Italy’s three largest broadcasters accounted for nearly 90 per cent of the total turnover in 2015 – Mediaset with €3.43 billion (including Spanish operations), Sky Italia with €2.70 billion and RAI with €2.46 billion.
Mediaset is also the leader in terms of TV advertising revenue, accounting for 57.6 per cent of the market, followed by RAI with 20.6 per cent.
The Mediobanca highlights the fact that RAI has the lowest TV licence fee in relation to the pro-capita GDP (0.42 per cent), compared ot Germany (0.58 per cent), the UK (0.51 per cent) and France (0.41 per cent). Italy is also top for TV licence fee defaulters (30 per cent).
Initial figures available for H1 2016 indicate that RAI (+12.5 per cent), Mediaset (8,6 per cent) and La7 (+1.9 per cent) have all seen revenue growth. The positive trend was confirmed by the 9-month results of Mediaset (+6.2 per cent) and La7 (+1.4 per cent), as well as the 6-month results of Sky to December 2016 (+4 per cent).