×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

No. 21: RTL Group

Luxembourg

Revenues: $3.676 billion

Profit: $61 million

If there’s a vote of confidence to be had in the broadcasting world, then RTL Group got it earlier this year. German media giant Bertelsmann was prepared to give up a 25% stake in itself in order to obtain a larger chunk of RTL Group (30%, giving it a majority share).

Once a random collection of European channels with a glaring lack of production subsidiaries, RTL has established itself as a force to be reckoned with: Revenues are up nearly 15% and RTL’s production biz has been transformed by last year’s merger with U.K. production giant Pearson Television (which was recently renamed FremantleMedia). The larger Pearson group, now chiefly a publishing concern (and thus no longer eligible for a spot on our list of the top 50 entertainment companies), still holds a 22% stake in RTL.

RTL Group often has been rumored to be eyeing Telefonica subsid Endemol Entertainment (producers of “Big Brother”), which would further diversify its production operation.

The group recently merged its sports-rights activities with Canal Plus and Jean-Claude Darmon to form an entity with annual revenues of 570 million euros ($518 million).

With 24 TV channels and 18 radio stations in 10 countries, RTL also is making a concerted effort to synergize. One project involves using its broadcasters to test out new productions from Pearson. Another idea is to bring together its channels to back a proposed film/licensing division to be built out of its sales and co-production arm CLT/Ufa Intl.

More Biz

  • Streaming Powers U.S. Latin Music Market

    Streaming Powers U.S. Latin Music Market to 18% Growth

    The U.S. Latin music business experienced its second year of double-digit growth in 2018, driven almost entirely by streaming, according to the RIAA’s year-end report. The Latin market grew 18% in 2018 to $413 million, driven by a nearly 50% growth in revenues from paid subscriptions, the report says. Streaming formats made up a whopping [...]

  • Game Industry Layoffs Driven by Past

    Game Industry Layoffs Driven by Past Mistakes, Uncertain Future (Analysts)

    The video game industry is facing a seemingly never-ending string of layoffs and studio closures: Telltale, ArenaNet, Activision, and now EA. According to industry analysts, companies are facing declining earnings, diminishing product pipelines, and an uncertain future that is almost certain to be driven by new technology. While the debate over whether games as art [...]

  • NF_D_JGN-D14-5180.raf

    The Sexist Metal Scene in 'The Dirt' Is Painfully Accurate, Say Veteran Female Execs

    UPDATED: The fallout from Friday’s premiere of Netflix’s few-holds-barred Motley Crue biopic, “The Dirt,” began even before the film, which focuses on the quartet’s ‘80s-‘90s decade of decadence, was released. The group’s ill treatment of many women in their orbit is a matter of public record, and is depicted both seriously and unsettlingly light-heartedly in [...]

  • univision-dish blackout

    Univision, Dish Network Reach Carriage Deal After Nine-Month Blackout

    Univision and satcaster Dish Network have reached a carriage agreement after a nine-month blackout that marked one of the longest standoffs between a major programmer and distributor. Univision channels went dark on Dish Network’s satellite and streaming platforms on June 30. The sides were at odds over carriage fees that have become increasingly contentious for [...]

  • BMG Posts Strong Earnings for 2018

    BMG Posts Strong Earnings for 2018

    BMG announced solid earnings for 2018 — its tenth year since the “new” BMG opened for business after its previous incarnation merged with Sony Music — as part of parent company Bertlesmann’s results Tuesday. According to the announcement, despite “negative exchange rate effects,” BMG’s revenues increased by 7.5 percent to €545 million (around $644 million), [...]

  • Rahm Emanuel

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Calls Jussie Smollett Deal a 'Whitewash of Justice'

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted the decision by Cook County prosecutors to drop charges Tuesday against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Flanked by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Kevin Graham, the president of the Chicago police union, the mayor said the decision sends a message that high-profile people will not be held accountable for their [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    Viacom Shares Spike on DirecTV Deal, Renewed CBS Merger Chatter

    Viacom shares soared 10% on Tuesday after the company reaffirmed financial guidance for its media networks wing on the heels of sealing a hard-fought carriage renewal agreement with AT&T’s DirecTV. The stock gain underscored the importance of maintaining its presence on DirecTV and other AT&T channel bundles. Viacom on Tuesday reaffirmed its guidance of affiliate [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content