Telecinco, Antena 3 profits dive

TV ad revenues in Spain sink

MADRID — Net profits at Spain’s leading private broadcasters, Telecinco and Antena 3 Group, plunged 13% and 46.5% respectively for the first nine months of the year, thanks to a steep drop in TV ad revenues.

Telecinco’s profit was E242.38 million ($317.3 million), compared with $344 million in the first three quarters of 2007. Figures include the purchase of a $18.3 million stake in Dutch TV giant Endemol.

Controlled by DeAPlaneta, Antena 3 Group, whose crown jewel is commercial web Antena 3 TV, saw net profits fall to $93.4 million.

For 2008 through Sept. 30, net revenues at Telecinco were $961.9 million, down 4.7% compared with 2007’s first nine months. A3 Group’s net revenue slipped 15% to $709.8 million.

Analysts expected a drop in profits. They didn’t expect such a plunge, however, in the broadcasters’ third quarter ad revenues.

“Third quarter TV ad fall was around 20%, making for a 9% drop during the first nine months, when January to September estimates for ad deterioration were 6%-7%,” commented a Madrid-based analyst.

“Year-end forecasts are now worse than previously expected. It would be logical to expect a full-year TV ad revenue decline of 11%-13%,” he added.

TV ad investment in Spain through September has mainly been hit by significant decreases in coin from financial, automotive and food sectors.