Big RTL finalises launch of Thrill, says the German media company

Big RTL finalises launch of Thrill, says the German media company

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MUMBAI: Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. (RBNL) and RTL have finalised the launch of Thrill, an action entertainment channel, according to the European media company.

This is RTL Group‘s first television channel in India. Big RTL is a television joint venture between RBNL and RTL Group.

"The launch plan for the first joint venture channel in India has been finalised. Big-RTL Thrill will be a Hindi-language channel targeting young viewers with action-oriented content," RTL said.

The launch date, however, is still under wraps. When contacted, RBNL chief executive officer Tarun Katial declined to reveal the exact date.

In May, Big RTL had unveiled the logo of the channel, which is red in colour to signify energy, aggression and high action. ?Thrill? is embedded in bold font inside a rectangular block that reflects the personality and core values of the channels which are ?daring?, ?action-packed?, ?electrifying?, ?sporty?, ?challenging? and ?adventurous?.

Designed by Singapore-based agency BDA, the logo of the channel aims to connect with the mass male audiences in India.

RBNL already runs a separate joint venture in the broadcasting space with CBS Studios International.

Meanwhile, RTL announced its first half financial results. The media company managed to increase group revenue for the first half of the year by 3.3 per cent to ?2,815 million, reflecting higher revenue from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and FremantleMedia.

At Group level first-half EBITA was ?506 million.

A higher profit contribution from the German TV operations was offset by challenging market conditions in other areas, higher investment in programming and portfolio effects.

FremantleMedia?s lower profit contribution reflected continued pressure on volumes and margins, and timing effects.

Reported EBITA margin remained at a healthy level of 18 per cent. EBITA margin of RTL Group?s broadcasting businesses stood at 22.8 per cent.

In the first half of 2012, the European TV advertising markets clearly reflected local macro-economic developments: while the German TV advertising market grew slightly, the French, Dutch and Belgian markets were estimated to be down year-on-year; in Spain, Hungary and Croatia the markets continued to see a more pronounced softening.

In France, RTL‘s Groupe M6 reported EBITA fall to ?126 million as a result of lower advertising revenue and programming investment related to the European football championship.

For RTL Nederland, EBITA decreased to ?38 million due to a weaker TV advertising market and the scope exit of the Dutch radio stations.

FremantleMedia?s EBITA decreased significantly to ?40 million due to pressure from broadcasters on volumes and margins, and the timing effects of several productions that shall take place during the second half of the year.

On 27 March 2012, the Groupe M6 project ?6ter? was selected as part of the CSA?s call for tender for six new HD channels on digital terrestrial television (DTT). The new channel, to be launched in December 2012, will be a general entertainment channel for the whole family On 1 April, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland launched a new free-TV channel, RTL Nitro, mainly targeted at male viewers.

On 25 July, FremantleMedia Enterprises and Random House announced a creative and strategic partnership to develop scripted TV programming for the United States and international markets, based on the fiction and non-fiction titles published by Random House imprints in North Amrica and internationally On 3 September, RTL Nederland will launch its third digital pay-TV channel, RTL Telekids.

On the digital front in total, RTL Group companies have launched more than 220 mobile applications, registering 65 million downloads to date. In June 2012, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and cable operator Kabel Deutschland signed a deal to distribute RTL?s German family of channels in high definition. The cable operator will also offer a broad range of programmes on-demand, based on RTL?s ?Now? family of catch-up TV services

In May 2012, FremantleMedia launched ?The Pet Collective?, its first channel funded by Youtube. The move is part of the company?s strategy to produce original, quality programming for multiple media platforms. In July, Radical Media launched its first Youtube channel, THNKR, and in Germany, UFA will also launch two Youtube channels

Since taking over as joint Group CEOs of RTL Group in mid-April, Anke Sch?ferkordt, Guillaume de Posch has conducted a comprehensive review of the corporate strategy. RTL has defined three main investment areas:

- Core: to optimise and develop the existing broadcasting business and invest for growth in new territories. This includes launching new channels such as RTL Nitro and 6ter, and increasing distribution revenue from platform operators.

- Content: to further develop and acquire intellectual property and exploitation capabilities, in particular in areas such as general entertainment, US drama, kids entertainment, gaming and online video networks. FremantleMedia will be key for this strategic goal.

- Digital: to build sustainable new business models with strong cross-platform presence on all devices and screens, with internet properties and new on-demand services.

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