Growth credited to younger viewers, cost cuts

BERLIN — Commercial broadcaster RTL 2 has posted record profits of DM 54.8 million ($28.8 million) for 1999, a 270% surge over the previous year. Overall revenues rose 9.5% to $303 million.

A focus on younger viewers, improvement of inhouse productions and cancellation of unprofitable, low-rated fare helped bring the broadcaster up to par with its rivals, according to execs.

The network is predicting the positive trend to continue this year with the current success of its controversial skein “Big Brother.”

The reality show has helped the web garner a market share of 8.3% among 14- to 49-year-old viewers, its best showing ever. The web even beat out rivals SAT.1, ARD and ZDF among 14- to 29-year-olds, with a 12.6% share.

According to managing director Josef Andorfer, “Big Brother” has helped turn RTL 2 into a major league network.

The web, controlled by CLT/Ufa, Hamburg-based publishing group Bauer and film and TV outfit TeleMunchen, has been on the air since 1993.

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