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RTL net grabs the goulash

10% ad rev increase reps best year yet

BUDAPEST — Hungary’s ratings war between RTL Media-controlled broadcaster RTL Klub and SBS-controlled TV2 is bringing record profits to RTL’s goulash net, which just announced ad revenue for 2003 of 2.6 billion Hungarian forint ($12.8 million).

According to Hungarian RTL Television CEO Dirk Gerkens, this amount is almost 10% higher than the net’s ad revenue for 2002 and represents the best financial year for the terrestrial network since going to air in 1997.

Despite the sluggish international economy, RTL’s revenues have been on the rise for years. Revs in 2002, the previous record-breaking year, were 20% higher than the previous year.

SBS’ Magyar flagship TV2 has not posted its 2003 results, but analysts estimate its revenue may not surpass $9.6 million for 2003, but could better 2002’s results by as much as 20%. Both nets can look forward to a good year. Hungary’s broadcast ad industry is expected to expand as much as 10% in 2004.

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