Another major international prodco has registered significant financial impact for the first half of 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Global producer-distributor Fremantle has seen EBITDA fall by 56% to €23 million (or US$27 million), from €52 million in the first half of 2019, according to the interim report issued by Luxembourg-headquartered parent company, RTL Group.
Revenue at Fremantle was down by 14.6 per cent to €707 million in the first half of 2020, from €828 million in the first half of 2019.
RTL pegged the losses on “fewer deliveries of shows and postponements of productions as a result of COVID-19 impact on numerous territories.”
The interim report cited Fremantle-produced hits such as America’s Got Talent and American Idol in the U.S. and Talkback-produced Netflix hit Too Hot to Handle as successes for the first half of the year, and noted that production for Fremantle series has restarted in most territories, with “significant content demand from broadcasters and streaming platforms.”
Parent company RTL Group, meanwhile, posted a revenue drop of 16.4 %, to €2.7 billion in H1/2020 with adjusted EBITDA for the period also taking a steep fall, to €258 million.
“RTL Group reacted promptly to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus disease by focusing on four areas: the safety of our employees, the continuity of our businesses, liquidity, and cost and cash flow management,” said RTL Group CEO Thomas Rabe (pictured) in a statement. “As expected, our largest revenue stream – TV advertising – declined strongly in the second quarter of 2020, but we succeeded in offsetting 50 per cent of the revenue decline. We did so without cutting into the substance of our businesses or reducing investments in our streaming services, which is reflected in gains in market shares and a significant growth in paying subscribers for our streaming services. This demonstrates the resilience of our businesses, and the strength of our management teams.”