Mediaset off by 50%

Chris Forrester

Poor results at European commercial broadcasters is barely news these days (see TF1 story), so frequent are the reports of doom and gloom, and Mediaset’s numbers conform to this pattern. Milan-based Mediaset, controlled by Silvio Berlusconi’s family interests, reported earnings down 50%, and revenues down 12%.

Mediaset’s three Italian networks suffered in this first quarter (to March 31). Net income was just €60m ($82m) down from €121m in the same period of 2008. Revenues were down 12% to €967m ($1.3bn), compared with €1bn during the first three months of last year, reflecting plummeting advertising sales in Mediaset's two main markets, Italy and Spain.

Mediaset has three private TV channels in Italy, where ad revenues were down 13% to €645.7m ($883.5m) from €742m during the same period of last year, and one network in Spain.