RTL Group Boosts YouTube Presence As It Buys Controlling Stake In BroadbandTV

By | Wednesday June 26, 2013 @ 11:21am PDT

The $36M deal gives Europe’s largest commercial broadcaster a 51% stake in BroadbandTV — and a small hedge against the softening overseas ad sales that contributed to the 18.9% drop in RTL Group shares so far this year on the Frankfurt exchange. RTL Group says that the acquisition is “part of a planned series of investments” in BroadbandTV and “creates a new platform for RTL Group’s digital strategy.” Vancouver-based BroadbandTV is the fifth-largest provider of YouTube videos and will continue to be run by its charismatic Iran-born founder Shahrzad Rafati. The companies “have defined an ambitious growth plan fueled by investments in technology, advertising sales, content, international expansion and talent,” she says. The alliance “will enable content owners and creators across the globe to achieve their ambitious goals, which is one of the key reasons for BroadbandTV’s existence.” Read More »

Comments (0)

Bertelsmann Eyes $3.9B In Acquisitions Over Next Three Years, But No IPO

By | Tuesday March 26, 2013 @ 9:18am PDT

As it seeks to expand, Europe’s biggest media company, Bertelsmann, plans to spend as much as 3B euros ($3.9B) on acquisitions over the next three years, a move that reflects the current culture of increased media M&A activity in Europe. The company recently said it would reduce its stake in broadcasting giant and FremantleMedia owner the RTL Group, potentially raising about $2B. CEO Thomas Rabe said today that those proceeds coupled with about 500M euros in annual net cash flow would help fund individual deals worth “a couple hundred millions of euros,” according to Bloomberg. Bertelsmann is looking to expand into digital content and emerging markets and Rabe said, “It is our clear objective to grow the company in the next couple of years. Assuming a little bit of tailwind from a recovery in Europe, we expect to grow to 17B euros this year and 18B euros in the next.” An IPO, however, is “off the table for the foreseeable future.” Read More »

Comments (1)

Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘The X Factor’ Musical, Bertelsmann’s RTL Plan, MipTV

By | Saturday March 16, 2013 @ 7:45pm PDT

‘The X-Factor’ Musical Headed To London’s West End
The show’s creator Simon Cowell has granted permission for a London stage version of the TV singing competiton. Cowell and Sony Music’s joint venture Syco Entertainment are partnering with Stage Entertainment UK (Oliver!, Hairspray, Singin In The Rain) to launch the musical next year, Reuters reports. What they’re calling an affectionate poke at Cowell’s TV show, X Factor – It’s Time To Face The Musical! will hit London’s West End in early 2014. British comedian Harry Hill is writing with Steve Brown handling music and Sean Foley is directing. Story centers on fictional character Chenice who finds herself and her talking dog in line waiting for an audition that will change her life. Read More »

Comments (1)

RTL To Air German Version Of ‘The New Adventures Of Old Christine’

By | Thursday September 13, 2012 @ 10:47am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Warner Bros International Television Production is moving into the scripted-format export business, commissioning a local version of sitcom The New Adventures Of Old Christine to RTL in Germany. RTL has ordered eight episodes for a 2013 premiere, with Polyphon producing. Read More »

Comments (1)

Will Bertelsmann At Long Last Go Public?

By | Wednesday March 28, 2012 @ 8:35am PDT

It sure looks like it. Thomas Rabe, who became CEO of Europe’s largest media company in January, said today that an IPO is one option to help “reshape Bertelsmann over the next five to ten years” — especially to fuel investments … Read More »

Comments (0)

Time Warner, News Corp. Said To Bid About $1B For Turkish Media Group

By | Monday January 30, 2012 @ 6:39am PST

Time Warner, News Corp. and private equity group TPG are each said to have made bids in the $1 billion range for the media assets of Turkey’s Calik Holding. The country’s second largest media group has interests in television … Read More »

Comments (0)

Global Showbiz Briefs: Rome, Poland, UK

By | Friday August 26, 2011 @ 7:28pm PDT

‘The Lady’ Set As Opener At Rome Fest
Luc Besson’s The Lady, the political drama starring Michelle Yeoh and inspired by the recently freed Burmese opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, has been tapped to open the … Read More »

Comments (0)

Simon’s Next Show Won’t Be Talent Search

By | Thursday October 7, 2010 @ 1:52am PDT

I’m told that ITV is still discussing this 3rd show with Syco, which it plans to make after X Factor launches in the U.S. next Fall. The broadcaster hasn’t said yes to it yet. But Ellis Watson, managing director of Simon Cowell’s UK production company Syco, says the next show after Got Talent and X Factor won’t be a talent search. And it will almost certainly be made first by RTL’s production company FremantleMedia Read More »

Comments (0)

Who’s Not Bidding For UK’s Channel Five

FiveEXCLUSIVE: The European TV producer Endemol will not be among those bidding for the UK’s fifth terrestrial channel. ITV has also walked away from the auction, as has BSkyB and Time Warner. Endemol’s founder John De Mol is bidding, as is … Read More »

Comments (1)

Newspaper Tycoon Tipped To Win Five

FiveRichard Desmond, owner of Express Newspapers, is seen as a frontrunner to buy UK terrestrial channel Five. Other bidders include John De Mol, founder of TV producer Endemol (Big Brother), and Endemol itself, which De Mol’s investment company Cyrte Investments owns … Read More »

Comments (0)