Advanced Television

RTL revenue down 9% despite streaming gains

May 4, 2023

RTL, the Luxembourg-based international media conglomerate, has reported that Q1 group revenue down 9 per cent to €1.4 billion, mainly due to significantly lower TV advertising revenue and the disposals of RTL Belgium (31 March 2022) and RTL Croatia (1 June 2022), which were still fully consolidated in Q1 2022. Group revenue was down 7.7 per cent organically.

The revenue of RTL Group’s content business, Fremantle, was down 5.6 per cent to €435 million, mainly due to timing effects of production deliveries.

Streaming revenue from RTL+ and Videoland was up 15.6 per cent to €74 million, largely due to the growing number of RTL+ subscribers in Germany.

RTL Group’s total advertising revenue was €700 million (Q1 2022: €829 million), of which €545 million represented TV advertising revenue (Q1 2022: €653 million), €76 million digital advertising revenue (Q1 2022: €83 million) and €39 million radio advertising revenue (Q1 2022: €46 million).

RTL Group’s distribution revenue was slightly down by 1.8 per cent to €107 million due to scope effects.

TV markets

RTL Group estimates that in Q1/2023 net TV advertising markets were significantly down in Germany and France and slightly down in the Netherlands year on year. RTL Group says it does not yet see a recovery of the TV advertising markets in Q2 2023.

Operational highlights

As of March 31st, RTL Group registered 5.9 million paying subscribers for its streaming services RTL+ in Germany and Hungary, and Videoland in the Netherlands, an increase of 37.1 per cent year on year (end of March 2022: 4.309 million).

    • Paying subscribers for RTL+ in Germany increased by 38.4 per cent year on year to 4.38 million (end of March 2022: 3.17 million). The strategic partnership with Deutsche Telekom to bundle RTL+ Premium in Magenta TV continued to contribute significantly to the growth.
    • Paying subscribers for Videoland in the Netherlands grew 9.4 per cent year on year to 1.24 million (end of March 2022: 1.13 million).
    • The number of paying subscribers for RTL+ in Hungary (including RTL+ Active) was 0.277 million at the end of March 2023. RTL+ in Hungary was launched in November 2022.

Thomas Rabe, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group, commented: ”RTL Group made good progress on its strategic and operational agenda in the first quarter of 2023. We strengthened our core business with audience share gains in our largest markets, Germany and France, and renewed the exclusive broadcasting and streaming rights for the UEFA Europa and Conference League in Germany. We are pleased with the strong growth of our streaming businesses, adding more than 400,000 paying subscribers in the first quarter alone. Our global content business Fremantle has continued its creative success story across drama and film, entertainment and documentaries, with numerous awards and new partnerships with high-profile creatives such as Amy Berg and Edward Berger.

“In line with our expectations, TV advertising markets were very challenging in the first quarter. As noted in March, our outlook is based on a rebound of the TV advertising markets in the second half of the year, in particular in Germany. On this basis, we confirm our outlook for the full year 2023,” added Rabe.

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