Ad revenue squeeze at TF1 and M6

Pascale Paoli Lebailly

French leading private network TF1’s ad revenues fell substantially, down 27% to €321 million during the first quarter of 2009. The network’s total revenues dropped 18% to reach €538 million compared to the same period of last year.

According to TF1, and “despite satisfactory audiences” (26.3% audience share in April 09 vs 27.3% in April 08), the falls are mostly due to the worsening of the ad market, a pressure on prices as well as the impact of the new tax on complementary ad revenues. Private networks have been called to help compensate PSB funding after ad ban.

As a consequence, TF1 already warns financial analysts that its operating income over this period will be between €10 million and €15 million while net profit will set between €5 million and €10 million instead of the €16 million previously forecast.

Also detailing its first quarter results, M6 posted ad revenues down 11% compared with the same quarter the previous year, at €146.9 million. Consolidated sales for the group amounted to €327.4 million, down 0.6%. That included €24.5 million in ad revenues for digital channels and other media, up 22.5%. Non-advertising revenues were up 9.6%.