Broadcasters in Europe Post Declines as U.S. Media Rout Spreads

Broadcasters including the U.K.’s ITV Plc, Germany’s ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE and Italy’s Mediaset SpA fell in European trading on Friday, triggered by a selloff in the U.S. on concern that advertising will decline as viewers shift to online programming.

ITV is “down today on the read-across from U.S. media names that have got smashed in recent days on advertising fears,” Ian Whittaker, a London-based analyst at Liberum Capital Ltd, said in a note to investors.

The broadcaster of hit shows Downton Abbey and Coronation Street fell 4.7 percent to 259.20 pence in London trading at 10:08 a.m. ITV had gained 26 percent this year through Thursday. ProSiebenSat declined 4.5 percent to 45.32 euros in Frankfurt. Mediaset fell 4.2 percent and Societe Television Francaise 1 slipped 2.9 percent in Paris.

IN the U.S, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Media index had its biggest two-day slump since 2008 this week after broadcasting giants such as Viacom Inc., 21st Century Fox Inc. and Walt Disney Co. either posted results for last quarter that missed analysts’ estimates or cut forecasts. Viacom fell the most in almost seven years on Thursday.

The reports from the U.S. show the increasing influence that online streaming video services such as Netflix Inc. and YouTube are winning from broadcasters.

U.K. industry regulator Ofcom also said Thursday that live TV viewing fell 14 percent in four years to 193 minutes per day last year. While live TV is still the way most people watch programs, streaming services and Internet-connected TVs are becoming more popular, according to the report.

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