Mediaset revenues maintained by World Cup advertising
Mediaset, the Italian commercial broadcaster, has reported revenues of €1.85 billion ($2.16 billion) for the first half of 2018, flat compared with the same period last year, with the Fifa World Cup providing a boost to advertising turnover.
Mediaset, which operates prominent channels in Italy and Spain, is forecasting a 4-per-cent increase in advertising revenue for January to July.
This has been fuelled, in part, by exclusive live free-to-air coverage in Italy of the World Cup held in Russia, which attracted healthy viewing figures across the Canale 5, Italia 1 and Canale 20 channels, despite the absence of the national team.
Mediaset also showed the tournament in Spain via free-to-air channel Telecinco although audiences will have been by the national team's last-16 exit to the hosts.
In the first six months of 2018, Mediaset generated revenues of €1.34 billion in Spain and €508 million in Italy, almost unchanged from the first half of last year.
However, earnings before interest and taxation fell from €212.1 million to €173 million, with Italy accounting for €21.1 million (down from €52.9 million) and Spain €152.3 million (down from €159.2 million).
Mediaset’s consolidated net profit for January to June of this year came to €42.8 million, compared with €74.5 million in the first six months of 2017.
In Italy, Mediaset, whose main channel is Canale 5, is the market leader among audiences in the 15-to-64 age group, with a daily share of 34.7 per cent, while, in Spain, Mediaset España, driven by Telecinco, is the leader with a 31.2-per-cent share.
Mediaset Premium, the Italian digital terrestrial TV service, has lost live rights it held to Serie A, the country’s top soccer league, but this month struck a deal with market newcomer DAZN, the Perform-owned over-the-top subscription service, to show three matches per week, and all Serie B games in the 2018-19 season.