RTL Group Revenue Slips 3.4 Percent


RTL Group delivered first-quarter revenues of €1.47 billion ($1.59 billion), a 3.4-percent decline from the same period last year, mainly due to lower ad revenues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At RTL Group, we continue to monitor the rapid worldwide spread of the coronavirus disease closely, placing the highest priority on the health of our employees and on protecting our businesses,” said CEO Thomas Rabe. “Our TV channels, radio stations, streaming services and websites have registered significantly higher reach and usage as they provide information and entertainment to millions of people who face unprecedented disruption to their daily lives. RTL Group’s businesses are part of their countries’ critical infrastructure. I am pleased that we are running numerous initiatives that include awareness campaigns and thank-you messages for the daily heroes in the current crisis.

“At the beginning of March, we registered [the] first cancellations of advertising bookings, as well as postponements of productions. This trend has accelerated with the introduction of wide-ranging lockdown measures across Europe in later March. We are making good progress in implementing countermeasures to reduce costs and preserve liquidity. Despite the economic uncertainty, RTL Group’s three-priority strategy—core, growth, alliances & partnerships—remains unchanged. We maintain our mid-term targets for the streaming services TV Now in Germany and Videoland in the Netherlands to grow their total number of paying subscribers to between 5 and 7 million, to grow streaming revenue to at least €500 million and to break even by 2025. The growth in paying subscribers and streaming revenue in the first quarter of 2020 is in line with the boost plans we presented in March.”

Broadcast revenues fell 4.8 percent to €1.03 billion ($1.1 billion). Fremantle, RTL Group’s content segment, saw its revenues fall by 1.3 percent to €378 million ($410.3 million). Digital revenues from BBTV, Divimove and SpotX rose by 3 percent to €103 million ($111.8 million).