Sweden’s TV4 Group posted in best-ever earnings for 2010, buoyed by increased online revenues and a buoyant advertising market. Operating profits of SEK 807 million represented a 26% increase on 2009.
In the post digital switchover environment, ‘Other channels’ saw a fall in audience share, but by maintaining its 11% share TV4 Group channels effectively strengthened their position.
“The TV world is undergoing rapid and far-reaching changes. We have seen very strong earnings in 2010, entrenching our position as market leader,” said group CEO Jan Scherman. “This gives the strength and freedom to take the TV4 Group into the next phase, which will involve continued rationalisation and greater flexibility, both needed to meet the intensifying competition for viewers and advertisers alike.”
C More Entertainment, which operates the Canal+ brand in the Nordic region, now has Telenor alongside TV4 with a 35% shareholding. The newly strengthened pay-TV group failed to maintain the rights to the English Premier League – rather than losing the rights, TV4 says they were not renewed “since the price was considered to be too high”. Consequently the group says the new broader portfolio of sports on offer is expected to lead to subscriber growth in the future. In the meantime the full year effect of the Premier League’s departure to Viasat and the launch of Canal 9 in Denmark meant pay-TV revenues were down.
TV4 Digital Media reported higher earnings in 2010 than in 2009. The new version of on demand service TV4 Play helped contribute to a year-on-year in increase in traffic of 25%.