Digital business ‘transforming’ ProSiebenSat.1

German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 is generated almost half of its revenues for the first nine months of the year outside the traditional TV advertising business, and is continuing to deliver very strong growth, driven by its digital business, and by content production and sales.

Thomas EbelingProSiebenSat.1 has also decided to split its digital business, which CEO Thomas Ebeling (pictured) said was likely to deliver revenues of €1.7 billion (US$1.9 billion) in two years’ time, into two segments – digital entertainment and digital; and ventures and commerce, which will sit alongside its existing German-language broadcasting and content production and global sales operating units.

“We are making very good progress with the transformation of our company from a TV house to a digital player. In the first nine months, we already generated 46 % of our revenues outside the traditional TV advertising business,” said Ebeling.

“We consistently forge ahead with this development. With the strong TV business as the basis and the digital entertainment, commerce and production activities, we are well positioned to achieve our goals. By 2018, we aim to achieve revenues of €1.7 billion with our digital business.”

Digital entertainment delivered 23% revenue growth in the third quarter to €99 million, and 33% growth over the nine months to €304 million, driven in part by advertising video-on-demand at multichannel network Studio71.

The group said it had also signed a new long-term contract extension for distribution of SVOD service Maxdome with Liberty Global-owned cable network Unitymedia.

Digital ventures and commerce also grew significantly, up 44% to €181 million in the third quarter, driven by travel portal Etraveli and price comparison site Verivox.

ProSiebenSat.1’s core German-speaking broadcast activities grew by 2% in the third quarter to €472 million, and by 2% in the nine months to €1.51 billion. Distribution revenues grew significantly in the third quarter.

Content production and global sales saw revenue growth of 34% in the third quarter to €100 million. Sales over the nine months grew by an even more impressive 38% to reach €240 million. EBITDA also more than doubled to €27 million. The growth here was driven by the US business.

ProSiebenSat.1 now foresees revenue growth of 15% for the full year, driven by digital and production.

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