People/Biz

RTL Group, Fremantle post earnings, revenue hits in interim report

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% ...
August 13, 2020

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.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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