Mediaset Espana Sees Rising Ad Share on Euro 2016 Tournament

  • Broadcaster to beat ‘flatish’ TV market, CFO Uria says
  • Spain’s phone carriers returned to advertising after summer

Mediaset Espana Comunicacion SA, Spain’s biggest TV broadcaster, estimates that its advertising lead over its nearest competitor has expanded in the second half, boosted by an upturn in phone-carrier advertising and the summer’s Euro 2016 soccer championships.

“We may have grown relative to the market, because we had the Euro, so that will have given us a higher share," Chief Financial Officer Javier Uria said in an interview at the company’s headquarters on the outskirts of Madrid.

Mediaset Espana will report third-quarter advertising sales that outperformed a “flatish" market with its results on Oct. 26, Uria said. Exclusive rights to the soccer tournament, which spanned June and July, helped gain share over rivals in the the broader TV market.

The Madrid-based company, controlled by Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset SpA, is locked in a fight over advertisers and viewers with Atresmedia Corporacion de Medios de Comunicacion, its main rival in soccer-crazed Spain. Mediaset Espana expanded its lead in TV advertising to 1.8 percentage points in the first half, 44.3 percent to 42.5 percent, from a 0.4 point edge a year earlier.

Mediaset Espana declined 1.6 percent to 10.09 euros at 10:06 a.m. in Madrid, giving the company a market value of 3.4 billion euros ($3.8 billion).

In recent weeks, phone carriers Telefonica SA, Orange SA and Vodafone Group Plc have taken to the airwaves to promote their televised soccer packages, and spending from auto makers has also picked up, Uria said. While Mediaset will report advertising growth for the second half, it won’t measure up to the 8.4 percent gain in the first half, Uria said without providing a specific forecast. Analysts estimate just above a 6 percent increase in TV marketing spending for the full year, according to Uria.

“It’s improved with the new campaigns, and the rights they bought," Uria said, noting that carrier spending was down in the first half.

Spain’s broadcasters are benefiting from a reviving domestic economy, which returned to growth in 2014 after years of recession and is set to outpace Germany, Italy and France this year and next, according to the International Monetary Fund. Mediaset Espana owns seven Spanish television channels and produces films.

The second half will have the added disadvantage of only one major film release for the company, “A Monster Calls,” compared with two each in the first half of 2016 and the last six months of 2015. Still, Mediaset Espana is betting the film will be its most successful this year, Uria said. Starring Liam Neeson and Sigourney Weaver, the movie premiered last week.

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