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American Idol hits Fremantle profits

Profit was down across the first nine months of the year at FremantleMedia, with the company blaming reduced returns from American Idol and an increased spend on content.

American-Idol-Disney-attraction-2The RTL-owned producer and distributor, which did register an uptick in revenues for the first three quarters, saw EBITDA profit decline 19% to €64.8 million (US$70 million) and EBITA profit slip 5.6% to €51.5 million.

Revenue increased to €1.01 billion for the three-month period compared with €982 million in the same period in 2014.

“EBITA was down to €51 million, reflecting the reduction in American Idol and increased investment in the creative pipeline,” the company said in its latest report.

It blamed lower American Idol revenues and the cancellation of the US X Factor for a full-year revenue and profit decline in 2014.

Although FremantleMedia has not been part of the wave of high-level consolidation in the content sector, which has seen All3Media sold to Discovery Communications and Liberty Global, Endemol, Core Media and Shine Group merge and Banijay and Zodiak join forces, it has been actively acquiring production assets.

In the nine months to end-September the company invested in five prodcos: Corona TV, Wildside, Fontaram, Naked Entertainment and No Pictures Please.

It also has a 230-strong stable of YouTube channels and claimed 9.6 billion digital views of its content in the first nine months of the year, compared with 3.7 billion a year earlier.