France: TF1 ‘all bets are off’
March 23, 2020
From Pascale Paoli-Lebailly in Paris
French broadcaster TF1 Group has announced it is suspending its financial objectives forecast from last February “until the situation becomes clearer”, saying its “performances will be impacted” by the Covid-19 crisis.
Though the group sees increased consumption of its content in all forms across all devices, it also anticipates “advertisers -particularly those in the tourism, culture and transport sectors – having to postpone or cancel a large number of advertising campaigns. An initial significant impact will be felt in our advertising revenue performance in March, with an even greater impact in April. At this stage, we have no visibility for May and subsequent months.”
The group adds it sees similar trends in digital advertising for its subsidiary Unify.
In the Studio and Entertainment segment, content production has been gradually shutting down. For affiliate Newen, the suspension of the various programmms that are shot daily represents 30 per cent of the production division revenues.
TF1 Group is consequently “reviewing [its] entire TV schedules on a daily basis in order to cushion the loss of revenue by more efficient programming” and studying “the eligibility of our staff for temporarily lay-off support schemes.”
Despite the economic fallout, TF1 writes it remains “confident”, claiming a “sound financial position, with low debt and access to available bilateral credit facilities”.