Italian media group Mediaset posted its worst-ever loss in 2016, amounting to €294.5 million, largely due to the dispute with Vivendi over Mediaset Premium. This is in contrast to a profit of €3.8 million in 2015.
Net revenues were slightly up at €3.66 billion, of which €2.67 billion (+4.8 per cent) were achieved in Italy and €992 million (+2.1 per cent) in Spain. Advertising revenues were positive in both countries – €2.05 billion in Italy and €962.9 million in Spain.
Revenues at pay-TV unit Mediaset Premium were sustained in the first six months (+16.7 per cent) before the Vivendi affair that in the second half led to a slowdown. In particular, in Q3 (the peak season for subscriptions to the Italian Serie A and Champions League) growth was limited to +5.8 per cent.
Due to operational uncertainty, the pay-TV business suffered from April to October 2016, generating an additional loss of €72 million.
Overall, Mediaset expects to see “a positive result” for total advertising revenues in the Q1 2017 and the whole of 2017. Growth should remain moderate in both Italy and Spain.