RTL eyes international expansion and pay-TV moves

European broadcast group RTL is eyeing expansion into Asia and eastern Europe. Chief executive Gerhard Zeiler told investors that it hoped to make the move within the next five years. “We want to enter new markets. Geographically, we will look at Asia and eastern Europe, in which we expect a recovery of the television advertising market,” he said.

RTL, which currently operates 43 channels in ten countries in Europe, is also looking to move into pay-TV in the markets that it currently operates free-to-air broadcasters. However, he added: “There are no concrete deals in the pipeline at this stage.”

This comes as RTL posted significantly improved financial results and follows RTL’s exit of the UK broadcasting market with the sale of commercial broadcaster Five to Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell.