• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

Record Revenue, Profits at German Broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1

Thomas Ebeling - H 2013
Thomas Ebeling, CEO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media

UPDATE: ProSiebenSat.1's production division, Red Arrow Entertainment, signs a deal to acquire reality TV production company Half Yard, producers of Bravo's "100 Days of Summer."

German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 had a record 2013, with revenues surging 10.6 percent to $3.57 billion (€2.605 billion) and net profits jumping 6.8 percent to $520 million (€379.7 million).

The Munich-based group saw growth across all areas, but it was its rapidly growing digital and adjacent segment that was the sales engine, posting 44.5 percent growth and external revenues of $662 million (€483.7 million).

Digital and adjacent activities accounted for 18.6 of the company's consolidated revenues, up from 14.2 percent a year earlier. This growth was helped by ProSiebenSat.1's acquisition of online games publisher Aeria Games Europe, a deal that, assuming it receives regulatory approval, will make ProSiebenSat.1 one of Europe's top three players in the online gaming space and will grow the company's online gaming community from around 27 million users to some 77 million. Following the deal, the newly merged company will be called SevenGames. Based in Berlin, it will offer its games online and via mobile devices to 35 countries worldwide.

On Thursday, ProSiebenSat.1 announced a new distribution deal with Deutsche Telecom, which in which subscribers to the on-demand Entertain service will have access to the VOD library of ProSieben's platform Maxdome.

ProSiebenSat.1's content production division continues on its expansionist tract; on Thursday the company announced a deal to take full control of U.S. reality TV producer Half Yard (Bravo's 100 Days of Summer). Half Yard will become part of ProSieben's production division Red Arrow Entertainment Group, which already controls such U.S. shingles as Kinetic Content and Left/Right. The division, whose shows include cooking competition The Taste and hit Nordic crime series Lilyhammer, saw external revenues shoot up 29.7 percent last year to $169 million (€123.8 million).

But traditional TV advertising remains the core of the company's business. In 2013, the ProSiebenSat.1 Group generated 29.5 percent of its revenues outside of traditional TV ads, compared to 24.3 percent in 2012.

ProSieben CEO Thomas Ebeling is bullish about ProSieben's long-term forecasts, having recently raised the company's targets for 2015 and beyond, forecasting improved performance across all of its three main divisions: broadcasting German-speaking, digital and adjacent and content production and global sales. Late last year, he said the company's revenue in 2015 would be some $1.1 billion (€800 million) above levels in 2010 at $3.87 billion (€2.85 billion).

"We have set ourselves a new growth target for 2018. Compared to 2012, we want to realize additional revenues of 1 billion Euros," Ebeling said in a statement. "ProSiebenSat.1 is one of Europe's largest independent media companies and has attractive content and platforms, which allow it to reach millions of people. The combination of the two provides us with opportunities that are available to almost no other company. We are therefore in an excellent position to continue the growth story of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group."

Private equity groups KKR and Permira, which had controlled ProSiebenSat.1 for several years,  finally exited the group earlier this year, selling off their remanding 17 percent of the company last month for $1.76 billion (€1.3 billion).