Mediaset increases pay TV base but ad woes continue

Mediaset’s pay TV platform Mediaset Premium ended March with 4.2 million users, up from 3.9 million at the end of 2010.

First quarter revenues were up 19.6% year-on-year to €157.6 million and the Italian broadcaster confirmed its target of a 20% rise in pay TV revenues this year.

First quarter revenues from Mediaset’s operations in Italy were down 6.7% year-on-year, however, as a result in falling ad sales on its free-to-air channels. Despite this, Medisaet said it was confident of a recovery in the second half of the year, and still expects to meet its forecast for higher ad revenues in 2011.

The broadcaster reported total first quarter revenue of €1.112 billion against a forecast of €1.137 billion. Net profit was €68.4 million compared with €92.9 million for the same period last year.