European commercial broadcasters reach €15 billion content spent

Europe’s big commercial broadcasters reinvested €15.1 billion, or 18 percent, of the total €84 billion revenues taken on content during the last year of measurement in 2010.

This does not count spending by smaller groups, according to the Association of Commercial Television in Europe (ACT), which commissioned this study into the cumulative spending of advertiser-supported broadcasters in the region from the E-media Institute.

“We know that European television is an €84 billion sector — but we did not know until today how much of that revenue is reinvested in sport, news, entertainment or movies,” said Philippe Delusinne, CEO of RTL Belgium and president of the ACT. “When the contributions of public broadcasters, and of smaller operators, are also taken into account, we conclude that overall around 40 percent of broadcasters’ revenues are reinvested in the next season’s schedule. Quite simply, great program content isn’t cheap.”

The report also revealed a continuing increase in viewing as a whole across the continent, with the average European now watching linear services for three hours 48 minutes per day. This remains well behind the US average figure of five hours 11 minutes computed by ratings agency Nielsen. Perhaps for this reason ACT has concluded there is still plenty of scope for European broadcasters to generate new revenues through content consumption on secondary screens without detracting from primary linear viewing in the living room. Even so many would conclude that almost four hours was quite enough TV viewing for one day.