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CTC talks up channels despite audience dips

Russian broadcaster CTC Media has seen its operating income fall 8% year-on-year as ratings at its four channels dropped, but claims it is well positioned for the fall season.

Operating income for the three months to March 31, 2012, was US$50.6 million, compared with US$55.1 million for the same period a year ago. Revenues held at US$195 million, slightly up on 2012.

The loss in income was compounded by year-on-year falls across its four channels. Flagship net CTC was down 1.4% to an 11.3% overall share, while female-skewed Domashny dipped 0.7% to 3%. Peretz Channel fell 0.3% to 2.5% and Channel 31 was down 1.1% of its 6-54 audience to 13.4%.

However, the CTC and Peretz channels did marginally grow their shares on the previous quarter. CTC attributed the year-on-year dip at CTC to overall audience fragmentation, increased competition and high rating shows premiering later in the schedule.

CTC Media CEO Boris Podolsky said he was “pleased” with the CTC channel’s performance, noting audience share had grown since January this year. Primetime series such as Kitchen, Traffic Lights and The 80s were singled out as stand out performers.

“The viewing share indicators confirm that the CTC’s repositioning to reaching family audiences through adults is complete and is bringing fruit. We have a primetime grid fully contracted for the remainder of 2013 with an even higher concentration of brand new premieres and new episodes of proven hits scheduled for the fall season,” he added.

Furthermore, Domanshy and Peretz had grown sales despite audience drops and will now focus on “retaining the core loyal audience while further enhancing the demographic profiles of our channels”.

Scandinavia’s Modern Times Group is among CTC Media’s shareholders.