RTL Retains German Ratings Crown In 2011 As Public Channels Weaken

The network ends the year with a record 18.4 % share of the 14-49 demo.

COLOGNE, Germany – RTL Television strengthened its position as Germany's number one channel in 2011, thanks to a reality onslaught that included local versions of Brit formats I'm a Celebrity - Get Me Out of Here!, Farmer Wants A Wife and Pop Idol. Under the leadership of managing director Anke Schaferkordt, RTL beat its record performance last year, taking a 18.4 per cent share of the key 14-49 demo and 14.1 per cent of the total German audience.

The Cologne-based network left the competition far behind. In the 14-49 demo, Pro7 was a distant second-place, with a 11.7 per cent share, up 0.1 per cent on the strength of its U.S. sitcoms, among them Two and a Half Men, How I Met Your Mother and, starting in January, Zooey Deschanel-starrer New Girl.

Germany's public channels had a rough year, with both ARD and ZDF losing ground. ARD 's share of the total German audience dropped 0.8 per cent to 12.4 per cent while ZDF lost 0.6 per cent to 12.1 per cent. Things were equally bleak in the 14-49 demo, with ARD scoring a mere 6.6 per cent scare – down 0.7 per cent – and ZDF off half a per cent at 6.2 per cent. Those numbers should improve in 2012 as ARD and ZDF will be broadcasting both the London Olympics and the European Soccer Championships.