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Red Arrow Studios, e-commerce and advanced advertising save the day for ProSiebenSat.1

Red Arrow Studios, the production outfit that ProSiebenSat.1 is mulling the possible sale of, helped push the German media group into positive territory in the third quarter, along with its advanced advertising business and e-commerce arm.

While ProSiebenSat.1’s core advertising revenues fell by 6% during the quarter, overall revenues were up 4% to €926 million thanks to 13% growth from ‘non-TV core’ businesses.

Red Arrow, the international production arm that is likely to be sold by ProSiebenSat.1 as it pivots towards the domestic German market, grew its revenues by 21%, boosted by sales of The Weekly for FX/Hulu, Married at First Sight for Lifetime USA and A League of Their Own for Sky in the UK.

Speaking at MIPCOM in October, Conze said that ProSiebenSat.1’s strategic review and potential sale of Red Arrow is an expression of the company’s focus on “doubling down on the German footprint” and building an intellectual property portfolio that reflects that.

NuCom, the e-commerce division that is a major area of focus for investment, grew its revenues by 13%, while ProSiebenSat.1’s smart TV and digital advertising business saw its top line rise by 37%.

ProSiebenSat.1 took a hit in EBITDA, which declined by 25% to €131 million for the quarter, as its investment in its e-commerce and advanced entertainment businesses took its toll.

Joyn, the group’s on-demand JV with Discovery, saw its total active user base rise to 4.9 million installed apps. Joyn’s launch also contributed to the growth in digital advertising revenues, which saw a further boost from the launch of a new addressable TV spot product.

The group said that the decline in core ad revenues reflected the weakening macroeconomic environment, but the deconsolidation of video-on-demand portal Maxdome and online fitness provider 7NXT also had an impact.

CEO Max Conze hailed the fact that 56% of ProSiebenSat.1, revenue were now generated by non-TV core advertising businesses.

“We demonstrated once again that our decision to invest in a digital and diversified future was the right one,” he said, adding that “our streaming platform Joyn is continuously gaining new users, and the premium version will be launching this winter”.