P&L Check

ProSiebenSat.1’s Thin Digital Margins

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Without a digital presence, Germany’s largest media group could see its earnings fall in the long run as ever more viewers and advertisers is moving beyond it traditional broadcasting but struggling to make money through the expansion.

  • Facts


    • CEO Thomas Ebeling has acquired a smorgasbord of new firms, including travel portals, dating websites and online retailers.
    • The ventures drive up ProSiebenSat.1’s sales, but the broadcaster’s profit is not rising as fast.
    • Shareholders just vetoed heavy bonus payments to management at the annual general meeting.
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Broadcasting still brings in the profits but digital services are the future. Source: DPA/Picture Alliance

Thomas Ebeling is fighting battles on many different fronts, but fending off international competitors moving onto his turf is arguably the biggest.

The chief executive of Germany’s largest private media group ProSiebenSat.1 – the only media company in the blue-chip DAX index – is up against US internet giants Facebook and Google for ad revenues and Netflix and Amazon Video for streaming services. In particular, the competitive streaming offerings pose a huge challenge to the group’s core broadcasting business.

Unlike the country’s big public broadcasters, ProSiebenSat.1 receives no state funding. Without that financial cushion, the company needs to invest in areas showing the most potential for growth in the highly competitive media and advertising market. To that end, Mr. Ebeling has been broadening the scope of ProSiebenSat.1, expanding beyond its traditional broadcasting business into new online services and e-commerce firms. He has also continued to streamline operations.

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