French broadcaster TF1’s performance for the first nine months of the year has been hit by a series of factors, including increased sports rights costs, the increased cost of drama programming, the acquisition of Newen Studios and the year-on-year impact of offloading Eurosport.
The broadcaster posted revenues of €1.427 billion for the first nine months, up 1.9%, with the deconsolidation of Eurosport and the boost revenues from the prior year resale of Rugby World Cup rights leading to negative year-on-year growth in the third quarter.
TF1s operating income for the nine months period was €46.6 million, including a €10.9 million third-quarter loss, compared with net income of €106.8 million for the first nine months of 2015. Other contributing factors included operating losses in the first quarter at news channel LCI ahead of its move to free-to-air.
TF1’s audience performance was also hit by the popularity of sports broadcasts on rival stations over the summer.
On the positive side, TF1 saw solid growth in digital, with MYTF1 attracting 10.7 million unique visitors via IPTV service providers in September, its second-strongest performance in two years.
The broadcasters also saw solid revenue growth from its acquisition of Newen Studios and its TF1 Entertainment unit that however only partly compensated lower revenues from TF1 Studios and its tele-shopping division.