Hollywood helps Sat.1 bounce back


COLOGNE, Germany -- A healthy dose of Hollywood helped long-suffering German network Sat.1 to an 11% market share in February, its best performance since fall 2006.

The Berlin-based broadcaster added 0.6% market share in the key 14-49 demographic, the first month-to-month positive change for Sat.1 since last summer.

A heavy diet of blockbusters including "Meet the Parents" and "Something's Gotta Give" and new episodes of "Navy NCIS" were key in pulling the network out of its long slump.

The ratings figures, released Friday, are a victory for Matthias Alberti, who took over as head of Sat.1 last year and proceeded to overhaul the channel's schedule.

Alberti moved Sat.1 back to basics, dropping several underperforming formats and filling slots with feature films, in-house produced TV movies and sports.

Sat.1's new Monday primetime film slot has been particularly successful, with "Meet the Parents" drawing a 19.4% market share among 14- to 49-year-olds and "Something's Gotta Give" getting 18.2% in that space.

Alberti's decision to double-dip with hit series "Navy NCIS" -- new episodes on Sunday, and reruns on Thursday -- also has paid off. The military procedural starring Mark Harmon drew up to 14.8% of the 14-49 demographic in Germany in February.

Alberti has been under the gun to get Sat.1 growing again. Guillaume de Posch, CEO of channel parent ProSiebenSat.1, singled out Alberti's operation at last year's annual shareholder's meeting as the problem child in the ProSieben portfolio.