Teuton TV touts terrific year for ad coin: $7 bil

BERLIN – German TV stations raked in more ad coin than ever before last year, collectively bringing in nearly DM10.8 billion ($7 billion) from advertisers in 1996, an increase of 12.8% over 1995.

Top-rated commercial player RTL took in just more than $2 billion in ad revenues last year, 12.1% more than in the previous 12-month period. Owned by CLT-UFA, RTL Germany is one of Europe’s most successful TV stations.

Coming in second was SAT1 with $1.68 billion, representing an increase of only 3.8% over 1995. SAT1, in which Bavarian media mogul Leo Kirch and publisher Axel Springer Verlag have shares, recently has lost ground in the ratings. Although it broadcast more commercial spots than any other network, SAT1 is known to offer special deals to advertisers.

A big winner in the race for ad dough was third-ranked commercial web Pro7, which registered gains of 18%. With revenues of $1.52 billion in 1996, its ad coin could exceed SAT1’s this year. Owned by Leo Kirch’s son Thomas and German retailer Rewe, Pro7 is especially popular among the younger viewing groups coveted by advertisers.

Germany’s stations, many of which still are in the process of establishing themselves in the market, chalked up big increases in ad coin in 1996. RTL2’s take came to $380 million, an improvement of 28% over the previous year. Kabel1 earned $215 million, up 13.1% from 1995. Vox’s ad revenues grew by nearly 70% last year to $194 million.

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