Ad Market Challenges Hit RTL Group Financials


Revenues at the RTL Group were down 9 percent in the first quarter to €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion), largely due to a challenging advertising market.

RTL Group cited macroeconomic causes for its lower revenues in Q1, alongside the disposals of RTL Belgium and RTL Croatia. Ad revenues dropped to €700 million ($770 million).

Further, revenues at Fremantle fell by 5.6 percent to €435 million ($478.2 million), mainly due to the timing of production deliveries. Streaming remained a bright spot, with a 15.6 percent gain in revenues to €74 million ($81.3 million), boosted by subscriber additions at RTL+ in Germany. At the end of Q1, the company had a total of 5.91 million paying subs at RTL+in Germany and Hungary and Videoland in the Netherlands, a 37.1 percent gain.

”RTL Group made good progress on its strategic and operational agenda in the first quarter of 2023,” said CEO Thomas Rabe. “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.”

For 2023, RTL Group expects revenues of between €7.3 billion and €7.4 billion.