MUNICH/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The outgoing chief executive of Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE on Wednesday played down the threat to its TV business of digital rivals, describing its core advertising-driven operation as “robust”.
Thomas Ebeling, who is stepping down in February after a string of outlook downgrades, told investors that in any given minute 11 million people in Germany were watching traditional TV - and just 700,000 were viewing videos online.
“Life would be easier without Youtube, Netflix and the rest, but there is a really robust core in the TV business,” Ebeling told a capital markets day at which the Munich-based broadcaster unveiled a new, simplified structure.
Ebeling reeled off a series of slides showing that advertisers - including fast-moving consumer goods companies and even online giants like Amazon - love TV advertising. One day’s exposure on commercial television had the same impact as a two-week online campaign, he said.
Most German-speaking viewers preferred to watch sitcoms like Big Bang Theory, the U.S. hit that airs on the ProSieben channel, on scheduled TV. ProSieben’s content has an overlap of 9 percent with that of Netflix, Ebeling said.
Reporting by Douglas Busvine and Joern Poltz; Editing by Ludwig Burger