Prisa TV income grows, but EBITDA drops

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 15-11-2013

Prisa's pay-TV business increased during the first nine months of the year, especially during Q3, accumulating 11.6% growth in income. But not all the financial results were positive, and Prisa presented an 84.6% fall in its EBITDA.

Football brought good and bad news to Prisa in Q3. The new Spanish season has driven growth to Canal+, which gained over 23,000 subscribers in August and September. Canal+ hasn't had a positive subscriber balance since Q1 2012, and now it has increased its market share to over 40%.

But while general income for the pay-TV business grew to 869 million, the EBITDA was down to 25.2 million. According to Prisa, this is mostly due to football rights following Canal+ and Mediapro's conflict over the La Liga broadcasting rights.

Yomvi, Canal+'s video-on-demand (VOD) and online platform, has also grown. Over 25% (440,000) of the satellite direct-to-home (DTH) users consumed audiovisual content through Yomvi, compared to a year ago when it was 13%. During Q3, 2.61 million downloads were registered monthly on the VOD platform.

Regarding Prisa as a whole, it is struggling under the weight of its debt. The company registered a fall of 194.8 million during the first nine months of 2013, six times more than same period last year. According to the company, in addition to football rights, a fall in advertising income and the huge investment effort in Santillana, the editorial business, were behind the fall.

Despite of these figures, Prisa sees hope in Latin America, were its radio and press businesses are on the increase (up 10.2%). This may be why the company is trying hard to sell Canal+ and forget about TV for the moment, instead focusing on the Latin American market (which already represents 25% of Prisa's business) and the radio and editorial sector in Spain.