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Fremantle’s $3.3B Revenue Target Pushed Back By Up To A Year

EXCLUSIVE: RTL has pushed back Fremantle’s lofty €3B ($3.3B) revenue target by up to a year.

The much-discussed target has been the subject of industry chatter in recent years and is being delayed due to “increasing headwinds” experienced by the global TV sector in 2023, budget cuts to streaming services, the challenging TV advertising environment and the strikes in the U.S, according to an RTL spokesman. The target was bought in around five years ago with a view to doubling Fremantle’s revenue as RTL, which runs channel groups in Germany, Holland and France, looked to TV and movie production as a big driver for growth.

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Fremantle could still hit the target by 2025 but wiggle room has been introduced and it is officially now aiming for either 2025 or 2026.

The RTL spokesman added: “We will double Fremantle’s business in five to six years. In the end, it is not decisive for us whether we reach €3bn of revenue in 2025 or 2026. The direction of travel is clear – and we are investing significantly in Fremantle.”

The news was buried in Bertelsmann-owned RTL’s annual results late last week, which also reported Fremantle’s yearly performance.

The Poor Things super-indie saw turnover fall slightly by 3.5% to €2.26B – still more than €800M off target. Adjusted EBITA was down by the sharper 14.2% to €139M. RTL’s overall revenues fell by 5.4% to €6.2B, with adjusted EBITA down 15.2% to €782M.

RTL has said for several years now that Fremantle will reach the target by investing across “entertainment, drama and film, and documentaries – both organically and via acquisitions.”

After a quiet year for acquisitions in 2023, Fremantle spent more than €200M ($216M) on Death in Paradise group Asacha Media Group and 80% of Singapore’s Beach House Pictures in the early part of 2024. It had splurged around $270M in 2022, Deadline analysis found, including splashy buys such as Poor Things producer Element Pictures, Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story indie 72 Films and vet Italian outfit Lux Vide.

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