RTL Group to exit Greek broadcasting market
Luxembourg/Athens, 5 January 2012 – RTL Group, the leading European entertainment network, today announced that it will sell its 70 per cent majority shareholding in Alpha Media Group to the Greek entrepreneur Dimitris Contominas. The transaction is subject to approval by the Greek Competition Commission and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2012. As Mr Contominas currently owns a minority stake of 30 per cent in Alpha Media Group, he will become again the sole owner of the company, while the current management will continue to be involved in the operating management of the channel.
Gerhard Zeiler, CEO of RTL Group, says: “Given the heavy and on-going economic and financial crisis in Greece, we have eventually decided to exit the Greek market. While we cannot influence the overall market development, our local management team led by CEO Christoph Mainusch, together with Alpha’s employees, succeeded in increasing the channel’s ratings and cutting programme costs at the same time – both to a substantial extent. We are happy to have found a solution that enables Alpha to continue broadcasting. We wish Alpha, its employees and our business partner Dimitris Contominas truly all the best for the future – and thank them for their outstanding contributions and their commitment in very difficult times.”
Dimitris Contominas says: “Alpha has significantly improved its market position over the past three years. I regret that RTL Group will leave the Greek market, especially given the achieved development. I would like to thank my business partners at RTL Group for the trusting and fair collaboration and the expertise they contributed to reposition Alpha towards a younger audience. I am pleased to continue working with Alpha’s highly professional management team to steer the company through turbulent times.”
Notes to the editors
RTL Group acquired a majority stake in Alpha Media Group in December 2008 and currently owns 70 per cent. Since then the Greek net TV advertising market is estimated to have declined by more than 50 per cent. Despite major cost reductions (minus 45 per cent over the period 2008 to 2011) to compensate for declining advertising revenue, Alpha TV at the same time has achieved to significantly increase its audience share in its main target group of viewers aged 15 to 44, from 12.5 per cent in 2008 to 14.6 per cent in 2011.
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About RTL Group
RTL Group is the leading European entertainment network, with interests in 48 television channels and 30 radio stations in 10 countries and content production throughout the world. The television portfolio of Europe’s largest broadcaster includes RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, the RTL channels in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia and Hungary, and Antena 3 in Spain – the company also has interests in National Media Group in Russia. RTL Group’s flagship radio station is RTL in France, and it also owns or has interests in other stations in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Luxembourg. RTL Group’s content production arm, FremantleMedia, is one of the largest international producers outside the US. Each year, it produces 9,500 hours of programming across 54 countries.