No. 36: ProSiebenSat 1 Media

Munich

Revenue: $1.959 billion

Cash flow: $223 million

The merger of several leading German networks into behemoth broadcasting unit ProSiebenSat 1 Media last year boosted efficiency, streamlined operations, cut costs and strengthened its overall position, according to company execs.

With four TV networks, Sat 1, ProSieben, Kabel 1 and N24 — most majority owned by Kirch Group — ProSiebenSat 1 Media is Germany’s biggest broadcaster. And despite sinking advertising revenue, ProSiebenSat 1 remains Kirch’s most profitable business activity.

Like its other German rivals, the network has been hit hard by the drop in advertising revenue, however. Earlier this year, ProSiebenSat 1 was forced to revamp its annual programming budget and cancel or postpone several of its planned series as part of cost-saving measures.

“The executive board is not responsible for the reversal in the advertising market, but it is responsible for handling the situation,” ProSiebenSat 1 chairman Urs Rohner said at the company’s general meeting in June.

Sat 1 topper Martin Hoffmann emphasized that the cuts were primarily aimed at reality formats and not at series or telepics produced inhouse, which he described as being among “the most important assets in our programming.”

ProSieben’s shows weren’t affected by the revamp.

In March, the group raised some $360 million with the placement of a five-year bond on the international market to pay back debts incurred by Sat 1 prior to the merger and to fuel further expansion of the group’s activities.

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