BERLIN — RTL Television remained Germany’s most watched commercial broadcaster last year. But Haim Saban’s ProSiebenSat 1 channel group managed its best showing in three years among the advertiser-coveted 14-49 demo, widening its lead against RTL’s local family of channels.
RTL and its subsidiary webs Vox and Super RTL earned a combined share of 25.3% in 2004 — down 0.8% from the previous year. ProSiebenSat 1, which operates four channels here, was up 0.5% in its combined audience share to 29.4%, its best showing since 2001.
Vox, which airs primarily U.S. fare, reached 5.5%, up 0.5% on 2003. Also on the rise was tyke web Super RTL, jointly owned by RTL and Disney, which reached 2.4%. The RTL/Time Warner-controlled news outlet N-TV slipped slightly to 0.5%.
RTL’s flagship channel, RTL Television, posted a 16.8% market share, keeping the top spot it has held for 12 years in its target demo, well ahead of Saban’s main webs, ProSieben (12.1%) and Sat 1 (11.6%), as well as pubcasters ARD (8.8%) and ZDF (8%).
Among total viewers, RTL’s 13.7% was a tenth of a point behind pubcaster ARD’s 13.8% and ahead of pubcaster ZDF’s 13.6%.
While the pubcasters were boosted by coverage of last year’s Olympic Games and the Euro 2004 soccer championships, ARD suffered a drop in market share compared to 2003.
Indeed, RTL held the top spot among all viewers for eight months last year.
RTL topper Marc Conrad attributed the web’s dominance to the station’s “great diversity in programming and RTL’s strengths in all genres.”
While a number of flops signaled flagging interest in reality fare, shows like “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” continued to attract millions of viewers, as did the net’s coverage of Formula One auto racing.
Major movie hits included “Ice Age,” which managed a 39.2% share, and “The Princess Diaries,” with 32.2%.
Major contributors to ProSieben’s success included the B.O. hit comedy/Western “Manitou’s Shoe” (51.9%) and Ivan Reitman’s sci-fi comedy “Evolution” (33.5%).
Sat 1 earned high shares with its live coverage of UEFA Champions League soccer, which reached 42.2%.