Good 'Deal' for Endemol in first quarter

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Dutch entertainment giant Endemol said Tuesday that it has brought in a steady financial performance and made strategic progress in the first quarter.

Endemol said in a trading update that it saw its nonscripted business continue to perform at the same high level as in 2006, while scripted and digital media saw further growth.

Sound contributions came from such countries as the U.K., Italy and Spain, while Germany and France saw a somewhat slower-than-expected start of the new year, the company said.

On balance, its overall financial outlook for full-year 2007 remains unchanged, Endemol said.

"In the first quarter, we have shown a steady performance across the group," Endemol CEO Elias Rodriguez-Vina said. "In addition, several new steps toward the further development and implementation of our strategic priorities were made. On balance, our performance in the first quarter leads us to reiterate our financial guidance for the full-year 2007."

Endemol enjoyed a solid first quarter within its nonscripted core business.

"Deal or No Deal," hosted by Howie Mandel (pictured), is now Endemol's top format in terms of revenue, the company said. For example, the game show format continues to deliver high viewer ratings in the U.S., the U.K. and Italy.

Reality TV veteran "Big Brother" also remains a sound contributor, having returned to the air in such countries as Italy, Germany and Argentina.

Fueled by the worldwide game show revival, "1 vs. 100" also entered the company's format top five in the first quarter and will this year be produced in about 20 countries, the company said.

Endemol, controlled by Spanish telecommunications firm Telefonica SA, is scheduled to report detailed financial results for the first half of the year July 26.
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