EM.TV puts children's unit up for adoption

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Munich-based sports and children's TV specialist EM.TV is selling off its kids division (HR 5/23).

"If we look at the market for sports, we can see that it's taking up much more of people's free time, either actively or passively," CEO Werner Klatten said Tuesday.

But children's television is stagnating in terms of growth, he said, partly for demographic reasons and partly because it's being shunted off onto specialty channels, which don't make enough money to invest in new programming.

EM.TV will begin the sales process in the next few weeks, he said. Once the sale has been completed, the company will change its name to EM Media AG.

The division on the block, which the company calls Entertainment, consists of its fully owned units EM Entertainment GmbH and Junior.TV. Those companies either fully own or have major stakes in such smaller companies as Australia's Flying Bark Prods., the EMTV & Waverly agency in the Netherlands and Planeta Junior, a distribution platform in Spain. EM Entertainment also has a stake in U.S. VOD platform Kabillion.

In addition, the unit has what it said is one of the largest children's rights libraries in the world.

To illustrate the difference in profitability between the entertainment and sport divisions, Klatten referred to the company's first-quarter results. Sports revenue hit €54.7 million ($73.6 million), an 18.7% year-over-year increase. Meanwhile, entertainment division revenue sank from €13.9 million to €5.6 million ($7.5 million).

"The numbers explain why we've decided to bet on the faster horse," Klatten said.
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