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German broadcasters raise ad prices

A return to growth in the German TV advertising market has spurred the country’s main free-to-air commercial broadcasters to raise prices for airtime.

In the wake of bullish quarterly results last week, commercial broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 is raising advertising prices by 10% or more, according to analysts. Rival RTL is also raising prices, albeit at a lower rate than its competitor. It has announced further rises starting January 1. German media buyers are forecasting 5-6% net growth in TV ad revenues in 2011, with the primary driver price increases.

Investment bank Morgan Stanley’s base case forecast for ProSiebenSat.1 sees it continue to increase revenues, profit margin and free cash flow. “We assume German free-to-air revenue gets back to peak levels by 2012, and EBITDA margin improves to 30% in the long run,” it noted. “We assume international free-to-air TV revenue reaches 2008 levels in 2012 and grows 2.5% on average in perpetuity.”