RTL Group Annual Report 2023


Selected chapters from the RTL Group Directors’ Report can be found here in digital form.
The complete Annual Report 2023 can be found here as a PDF flip catalogue.

Financial year 2023 in review

In December 2023, RTL Group announced the envisaged sale of RTL Nederland to DPG Media, and therefore presents its full-year results for 2023 without RTL Nederland (IFRS 5, discontinued operations). As RTL Nederland was included in the Group’s outlook for 2023, selected pro-forma figures including RTL Nederland are provided below:

Pro-forma figures
(including RTL Nederland)1

  • With a strong second half of the year, RTL Group’s results came in in line with the guidance for the full year 2023: On a pro-forma basis, Group revenue of €6,854 million and Adjusted EBITA of €927 million, the latter including streaming start-up losses of €179 million.
  • In H2/2023, RTL Group generated an Adjusted EBITA of €677 million on a pro-forma basis, up 16.3 per cent on H2/2022 (€582 million) and the second highest ever despite challenging advertising markets and significant streaming start-up losses.

Reported figures
(continuing operations, without RTL Nederland)2

  • Group revenue was down 5.4 per cent to €6,234 million (2022: €6,589 million), mainly due to significantly lower TV advertising revenue from broadcasting businesses and lower Fremantle revenue. Group revenue was down 4.1 per cent organically3 compared to 2022.
  • TV advertising revenue across the Group was down 8.2 per cent year on year, despite market share gains, particularly in Germany.
  • Streaming revenue4 was up 72.6 per cent to €283 million (2022: €164 million), thanks to the rapidly growing number of paying subscribers, higher revenue per subscriber and the first-time inclusion of 6play in France.
  • Distribution revenue5 was stable at €331 million (2022: €332 million).
  • Adjusted EBITA6 declined to €782 million (2022: €922 million), mainly due to lower profit contributions from RTL Deutschland as the German TV advertising market decreased significantly in 2023. The Adjusted EBITA includes streaming start-up losses of €176 million (2022: €222 million). The Adjusted EBITA margin6 was 12.5 per cent (2022: 14.0 per cent).
  • Group profit from continuing operations was €483 million (2022: €642 million). Group profit from discontinued operations was €115 million (2022: €124 million). Total Group profit was €598 million (2022: €766 million).
  • Total net cash from operating activities was €537 million, thereof €77 million from discontinued operations. The operating cash conversion rate7 for continuing operations was 68 per cent (2022: 49 per cent). RTL Group had net debt8 of €-291 million at the end of 2023 (end of 2022: net cash of €180 million).
  • For RTL Group’s Annual General Meeting on 24 April 2024, RTL Group’s Board of Directors has proposed a dividend of €2.75 per share for 2023. The ex-dividend date of the dividend payment would be 25 April 2024 and the payment date 29 April 2024.
  • Based on the average share price in 2023 (€38.449), the proposed dividend of €2.75 per share represents a dividend yield of 7.2 per cent.

Financial review10

Per cent
Adjusted EBITA782922(15.2)
Adjusted EBITA margin (in %)12.514.0
Adjusted EBITA782922(15.2)
Significant special items(125)(42) 
Impairment and reversals of investments accounted for using the equity method(5) 
Impairment of goodwill and amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions of subsidiaries(43)(46) 
Impairment and reversals on other financial assets at amortised cost(2)(30) 
Gain/(loss) from sale of subsidiaries, other investments and re-measurement to fair value of pre-existing interest in acquiree40107 
Fair value measurement of investments and re-measurement of earn-out arrangements(32)(78) 
Financial result(13)(56) 
Income tax expense(124)(130) 
Group profit from continuing operations483642 
Group profit from discontinued operations115124 
Total Group profit598766(21.9)
Attributable to: 
RTL Group shareholders467673(30.6)
– Continuing operations352549(35.9)
– Discontinued operations115124(7.3)
Non-controlling interests13193+40.9
– Continuing operations13193+40.9
– Discontinued operations 
Basic and diluted EPS (in €)3.024.35(30.6)
– Continuing operations2.273.55(35.9)
– Discontinued operations0.740.80(7.3)
1 The pro-forma figures for the financial year 2023 include RTL Nederland. RTL Group’s outlook for the full-year 2023, as communicated on 8 November 2023, is based on these pro-forma accounts
2 Due to the reached agreement to sell RTL Nederland, as communicated on 15 December 2023, the operating segment RTL Nederland is classified as held for sale and presented as a discontinued operation in the consolidated financial statements 2023 (Application of IFRS 5 ‘Non-current assets held for sale and discontinued operations’ to the operating segment RTL Nederland). The figures of the consolidated income statement and the consolidated cash flow statement for the year 2022 are restated in accordance with IFRS 5 to report the discontinued operations separately from continuing operations. If not indicated otherwise, all figures presented/reported in this document refer to continuing operations. The sale of RTL Nederland is subject to regulatory approvals and the consultation process with the respective works councils
3 Adjusted for portfolio changes and at constant exchange rates. Further details can be found in Key performance indicators on page 57
4 Streaming revenue includes SVOD, TVOD, in-stream and distribution revenue from RTL+ in Germany, 6play in France and RTL+ in Hungary (including RTL+/ RTL+ Active/ RTL+ Light)
5 Revenue generated across all distribution platforms (cable, satellite, internet TV) including re-transmission fees
6 See Key performance indicators on pages 57 to 59
7 Operating cash conversion rate reflects the level of operating profits converted into cash. Further details can be found in Key performance indicators on page 60
8 Net cash/(debt) excludes current and non-current lease liabilities. Including these, net debt as of 31 December 2023 was €-592 million (31 December 2022: net debt of €-205 million). See Key performance indicators on page 61
9 Frankfurt Stock Exchange
10 The figures from the previous year have been adjusted due to discontinued operations (see note 1.30 to the consolidated financial statements)

Capital markets and share

RTL Group’s shares (ISIN: LU0061462528) are publicly traded on the regulated market (Prime Standard) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. RTL Group is listed in the MDAX stock index.

Share performance

Share performance

1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023 in per cent

RTL Group share price development for January to December 2023 based on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Xetra) against MDAX, Euro Stoxx 600 Media (SXMP) and ProSiebenSat1

RTL Group’s share price started 2023 at €40.62 and finished the year down 16.6 per cent, at €34.96. The share price highs and lows were €49.24 (19 April) and €31.50 (13 December).

Quarterly, the average share price evolved as follows:
Q1: €44.77
Q2: €40.57
Q3: €35.25
Q4: €33.10

The Group declared a dividend in April 2023 that was paid on 2 May 2023. The payment of €4.00 (gross) per share related to the 2022 full-year dividend. The total dividend paid amounted to €619 million. Based on the average share price of €42.04 in 2022, this represented a dividend yield of 9.5 per cent and a dividend payout ratio of 94 per cent, in line with the Group’s dividend policy.

For more information on the analysts’ views on RTL Group and RTL Group’s equity story, please visit the Investor Relations section on rtl.com.

RTL Group rating

In 2019, RTL Group decided to cancel its ratings from both S&P and Moody’s. Until the date of the cancellation, these ratings were fully aligned to RTL Group’s parent company, Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA, due to its shareholding level and control of RTL Group.

RTL Group dividend policy

RTL Group’s dividend policy offers a payout ratio of at least 80 per cent of the Group’s adjusted net result.

The adjusted net result is the reported net result available to RTL Group shareholders, adjusted for any material non-cash impacts, such as goodwill impairments.

RTL Group shareholding structure

The share capital of the company is set at €191,845,074, divided into 154,742,806 shares with no par value.

The shares are in the form of either registered or bearer shares, at the option of the owner.

Bertelsmann has been the majority shareholder of RTL Group since July 2001. As at 31 December 2023, Bertelsmann held 76.28 per cent of RTL Group shares, and 23.72 per cent were free float.

There is no obligation for a shareholder to inform the company of any transfer of bearer shares save for the obligations provided by the Luxembourg law of 15 January 2008 on transparency requirements in relation to information about issuers whose securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market. Accordingly, the company shall not be liable for the accuracy or completeness of the information shown.

Analyst coverage

as at 31 December 2023

A detailed overview on the analysts’ views on RTL Group can be found on rtl.com

Based on analyst coverage as at 31 December 2023

RTL Group share master data

Exchange symbolRRTL
Share typeOrdinary
Bloomberg codeRRTL:GR
Reuters codeRRTL
Transparency level on first quotationPrime Standard
Market segmentRegulated Market
Trading modelContinuous Trading
Stock exchangesFrankfurt, Luxembourg
Last total dividend (for financial year 2021)€ 4.00
Number of shares154,742,806
Market capitalisation1€ 5,409,808,498
52 week high€ 49.24 (19 April 2023)
52 week low€ 31.50 (13 December 2023)

Discontinued operations/application IFRS 5

Due to the reached agreement to sell RTL Nederland communicated on 15 December 2023, the operating segment RTL Nederland is classified as held for sale and presented as a discontinued operation in the consolidated financial statements 2023 (Application of IFRS 5 ‘Non-current assets held for sale and discontinued operations’ to the operating segment RTL Nederland).

Further information

The prior-year figures of the consolidated income statement are restated in accordance with IFRS 5 to report the discontinued operations separately from continuing operations. The envisaged sale of RTL Nederland is subject to regulatory approvals and the consultation process with the respective works councils.

In addition, RTL Group prepared selected pro-forma KPIs for the financial year 2023, including RTL Nederland. RTL Group’s outlook (see Outlook on page 100) for the full-year 2023, as communicated on 8 November 2023, was based on these pro-forma figures. For these pro-forma figures see Financial year 2023 in review on page 38.

Financial results RTL Nederland

In 2023, the Dutch net TV advertising market was estimated to be down by 8.0 per cent, with RTL Nederland outperforming the market. RTL Nederland’s total revenue decreased by 2.5 per cent to €620 million (2022: €636 million), as lower TV advertising revenue was partly compensated by higher streaming revenue. This resulted in an Adjusted EBITA of €145 million, down 9.9 per cent year on year (2022: €161 million), with the streaming service Videoland being close to breakeven.

Audience ratings RTL Nederland

In 2023, RTL Nederland’s family of channels grew its combined prime-time audience share in the target group of viewers aged 25 to 54 to 35.1 per cent (2022: 34.7 per cent).

RTL Nederland operates the leading family of TV channels in the Netherlands, comprising five free-to-air TV channels (RTL 4, RTL 5, RTL 7, RTL 8 and RTL Z), three digital pay-TV channels (RTL Lounge, RTL Crime, RTL Telekids) and an independent news organisation. With 1.4 million paying subscribers, Videoland is the country’s number-one local streaming service.

Further information can be found in note 6.11 to RTL Group’s consolidated financial statements.

Key performance indicators

RTL Group analyses key performance indicators (KPIs) to manage its businesses, including revenue, organic growth/decline, Adjusted EBITA, Adjusted EBITA before streaming start-up losses, Adjusted EBITA margin, net debt, operating cash conversion rate and audience shares in the company’s main target groups. RTL Group’s KPIs are mostly determined on the basis of so-called alternative performance measures, which are not defined by IFRS. Management believes they are relevant for measuring the performance of the Group’s operations, financial position and cash flows, and for making decisions. These KPIs also provide additional information for users of the financial statements regarding the management of the Group on a consistent basis over time and regularity of reporting.

These should not be considered in isolation but as complementary information for evaluating the Group’s business situation. RTL Group’s KPIs may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other groups due to differences in the way these measures are calculated.

KPIs are reported for continuing operations. The contribution in 2023 from RTL Nederland, if any, to each line of RTL Group’s consolidated income statement (before non-controlling interests) has been reported on the line ‘Group profit from discontinued operations’. In accordance with IFRS 5, these adjustments have been applied to all periods presented to ensure consistency of information.

Organic growth/decline

Organic growth is calculated by adjusting the reported revenue growth mainly for the impact of exchange rate effects, corporate acquisitions and disposals. It should be seen as a component of the reported revenue shown in the income statement. Its main objective is for the reader to isolate the impacts of portfolio changes and exchange rates on the reported revenue. When determining the exchange rate effects, the functional currency that is valid in the respective country is used. Potential other effects may include changes in methods and reporting.

Adjusted EBITA

EBIT, Adjusted EBITA and EBITDA are indicators of operating profitability. With significant investments in the Group’s streaming activities, RTL Group additionally uses Adjusted EBITA before streaming start-up losses. The KPI for the operating profitability of RTL Group and its business units is Adjusted EBITA.

Analysts, investors and peers of RTL Group use EBITDA to assess profitability. The use of EBITDA eliminates potential differences in performance caused by variations in capital structures and the cost and age of tangible and intangible assets (affecting relative depreciation expense and relative amortisation expense respectively). As a result, for these purposes the calculation of EBITDA and further for reconciliation purposes Adjusted EBITDA for RTL Group are also disclosed.

RTL Group comments primarily on Adjusted EBITA as the KPI for measuring profitability.

Adjusted EBITA represents a recurring operating result and excludes significant special items. RTL Group management has established an ‘Adjusted EBITA’ that neutralises the impacts of structural distortions for the sake of transparency. Based on the accelerated industry trends explained in the Market section (pages 46 to 47) and Strategy section (pages 48 to 52) in this Directors’ report, RTL Group plans to increase its investments in business transformation including streaming, premium content, technology and data. At the same time, management continually assess opportunities to reduce costs in the Group’s traditional broadcasting activities – for example, reallocating resources from its traditional businesses to its growing digital businesses – and this may lead to restructuring expenses that are neutralised in the Adjusted EBITA.

Adjusted EBITA is determined as earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) as disclosed in the income statement excluding the following elements:

  • Impairment of goodwill of subsidiaries and amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions of subsidiaries
  • Impairment and reversals of investments accounted for using the equity method
  • Impairment and reversals on other financial assets at amortised cost presented in ‘Other operating expenses’ or ‘Other operating income’
  • Re-measurement of earn-out arrangements presented in ‘Other operating income’ or ‘Other operating expenses’
  • Fair value measurement of investments presented in ‘Other operating income’ or ‘Other operating expenses’
  • (Gain)/loss from sale of subsidiaries, other investments and re-measurement to fair value of pre-existing interest in acquiree
  • Significant special items

Significant special items exceeding the cumulative threshold of €5 million need to be approved by management, and primarily consist of restructuring expenses or reversal of restructuring provisions and other special factors or distortions. The adjustments for special items serve to determine a sustainable operating result that could be repeated under normal economic circumstances and is not affected by special factors or structural distortions. In 2023, ‘Significant special items’ amount to €-125 million, reflecting mainly restructuring measures at RTL Deutschland (€-87 million) and personnel cost-efficiency measures at Fremantle (€-26 million). The remaining amount is attributable to expenses in connection with strategic portfolio measures and to the transformation project relating to a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution where implementation costs were expensed as incurred. In 2022, ‘Significant special items’ reflected restructuring and integration costs in Germany (€-33 million) following the Gruner + Jahr transaction as well as the impact of expenses in connection with strategic portfolio management (€-11 million).

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)620828
Impairment of goodwill of subsidiaries
Amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions of subsidiaries4346
Impairment and reversals of investments accounted for using the equity method5
Impairment and reversals on other financial assets at amortised cost230
Re-measurement of earn-out arrangements9
Fair value measurement of investments2378
(Gain)/loss from sale of subsidiaries, other investments
and re-measurement to fair value of pre-existing interest in acquiree
Significant special items12542
Adjusted EBITA782922
The figures from the previous year have been adjusted due to discontinued operations (see note 1.30 to the consolidated financial statements).

Adjusted EBITA before streaming start-up losses

In accordance with RTL Group’s strategy, the company continued to invest heavily in its streaming services, RTL+ in Germany and Hungary and 6play in France (to be rebranded M6+ in 2024), all of which have seen a rapid increase in the number of paying subscribers (for further details please refer to Building national streaming champions on page 50). The Adjusted EBITA of RTL Group is impacted by effects relating to the growth of its streaming services. These are operational in nature, and are not included in ‘Significant special items’. RTL Group believes the disclosure of ‘streaming start-up losses’ and ‘Adjusted EBITA before streaming start-up losses’ provides important context for its business performance, hence it discloses information relating to both KPIs in addition to its leading alternative performance measure, ‘Adjusted EBITA’. Streaming start-up losses are defined as a total of Adjusted EBITA from RTL+ in Germany and Hungary, 6play in France (from 2023), Salto and Bedrock as consolidated on RTL Group level. For the year 2023, the total of streaming start-up losses amounted to €176 million (2022: €222 million). Adjusted EBITA before streaming start-up losses was €958 million (2022: €1,144 million).

Adjusted EBITA margin

The Adjusted EBITA margin as a percentage of Adjusted EBITA of revenue is used as an additional criterion for assessing business performance.


EBITDA represents earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) excluding some elements of the income statement:

  • Amortisation and impairment of non-current programme and other rights, of other intangible assets, depreciation and impairment of property, plant and equipment (excluding the part concerning goodwill and fair value adjustments) and of right-of-use assets reported in ‘Depreciation, amortisation and impairment’
  • Impairment of goodwill of subsidiaries and amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions of subsidiaries
  • Impairment and reversals of investments accounted for using the equity method
  • Impairment and reversals on other financial assets at amortised cost presented in ‘Other operating expenses’ or ‘Other operating income’
  • Re-measurement of earn-out arrangements presented in ‘Other operating income’ or ‘Other operating expenses’
  • Fair value measurement of investments presented in ‘Other operating income’ or ‘Other operating expenses’
  • (Gain)/loss from sale of subsidiaries, other investments and re-measurement to fair value of pre-existing interest in acquiree

Adjusted EBITDA is determined as EBITDA excluding significant special items with the same definition as for Adjusted EBITA (please refer to the definition on page 57).

Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)620828
Depreciation, amortisation and impairment239231
Impairment of goodwill of subsidiaries
Amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions of subsidiaries4346
Impairment and reversals of investments accounted for using the equity method5
Impairment and reversals on other financial assets at amortised cost230
Re-measurement of earn-out arrangements9
Fair value measurement of investments2378
(Gain)/loss from sale of subsidiaries, other investments
and re-measurement to fair value of pre-existing interest in acquiree
Significant special items112342
Adjusted EBITDA1,0191,153

The figures from the previous year have been adjusted due to discontinued operations (see note 1.30 to the consolidated financial statements).

Operating cash conversion rate

The operating cash conversion rate (OCC) reflects the level of operating profits converted into cash available for investors after incorporation of the minimum investments required to sustain the current profitability of the business and before reimbursement of funded debts (interest included) and payment of income taxes. The operating cash conversion rate of RTL Group’s operations is subject to seasonality and investment cycles. RTL Group historically had – and expects in the future to have – a strong OCC due to a high focus on working capital and capital expenditure throughout the Group’s operations. OCC should be above 90 per cent in the long-term average and/or it should normally exceed market benchmarks in a given year.

OCC means operating free cash flow divided by EBITA – operating free cash flow being net cash from operating activities adjusted by the following elements:

  • Income tax paid
  • Transaction-related costs with regard to significant disposals of subsidiaries
  • Cash outflows from the acquisitions of programme and other rights and other intangible assets and tangible assets
  • Cash inflows from proceeds from the sale of intangible and tangible assets
Net cash from operating activities460323
Adjusted by:
Income tax paid160294
Transaction-related costs9
Acquisitions of:
Programme and other rights(57)(68)
Other intangible and tangible assets(115)(129)
Proceeds from the sale of intangible and tangible assets11
Operating free cash flow449429
Operating cash conversion rate68%49%
The figures from the previous year have been adjusted due to discontinued operations (see note 1.30 to the consolidated financial statements).

Net cash/(debt)

The net cash/(debt) is the gross balance sheet financial debt adjusted for:

  • Cash and cash equivalents
  • Current deposit with shareholder and its subsidiaries reported in ‘Accounts receivable and other financial assets’

In order to assess RTL Group’s leverage, the net debt to Adjusted EBITDA ratio is used. The ratio is calculated as net debt divided by Adjusted EBITDA.

Current loans and bank overdrafts(253)(547)
Non-current loans(689)(138)
Deduction of:
Cash and cash equivalents575589
Current deposits with shareholder and its subsidiaries76276
Net cash/(debt)(291)180
Adjusted EBITDA1,0191,153
Net cash/(debt) to EBITDA ratio(29)%n.a.

The net debt excludes current and non-current lease liabilities of €301 million (31 December 2022: €385 million).

Operating cost base

Operating cost base is calculated as the sum of ‘Consumption of current programme rights’, ‘Depreciation, amortisation, and impairment’ and ‘Other operating expenses’.

Consumption of current programme rights2,5662,657
Depreciation, amortisation and impairment239231
Other operating expenses2,9693,025
Operating cost base5,7745,913
The figures from the previous year have been adjusted due to discontinued operations (see note 1.30 to the consolidated financial statements).

Dividend payout ratio

Dividend payout ratio means the absolute dividend amount divided by the adjusted profit attributable to RTL Group shareholders.

The absolute dividend amount is based on the number of issued ordinary shares at 31 December, multiplied by the dividend per share. The main adjustments on profit attributable to RTL Group shareholders refer to dilution gains from Global Savings Group (GSG) and fair value measurement impact from financial instruments.

Profit attributable to RTL Group shareholders467
Dividend policy adjustments26
Adjusted profit for the year attributable to RTL Group shareholders493
Dividend in € per share2.75
Dividend, absolute amount426
Dividend payout ratio186%

Financial review


RTL Group estimates that the net TV advertising markets in 2023 in Germany and France were down throughout the year, whereas the advertising market in Hungary was up. A summary of RTL Group’s key markets is shown below, including estimates of net TV advertising market growth rates and the audience shares in the main target audience group.

Estimated net TV
advertising market
growth rate
(in per cent)
RTL Group
audience share
in the main
target group
(in per cent)
RTL Group
audience share
in the main
target group
(in per cent)
Germany-9.5 to -10.5%127.4%226.8%2

Group revenue was down 5.4 per cent to €6,234 million (2022: €6,589 million), mainly due to significantly lower TV advertising revenue from broadcasting businesses and lower Fremantle revenue. Group revenue was down 4.1 per cent organically compared to 2022.

RTL Group revenue bridge in 2023

(in €million)

RTL Group’s revenue from advertising, as stated in note 5.1 to the consolidated financial statements, was €3,111 million (2022: €3,319 million), of which €2,368 million represented TV advertising revenue (2022: €2,579 million), €364 million represented digital advertising revenue (2022: €361 million) and €379 million represented radio, print and other advertising revenue (2022: €379 million).

RTL Group’s content revenue was €1,990 million (2022: €2,112 million), generated by the Group’s global content business, Fremantle, from the production and distribution of formats for external customers6. Content revenue is included in ‘Revenue from exploitation of programmes, rights and other assets’ as stated in note 5.1 to the consolidated financial statements.

Distribution revenue is generated by RTL Group’s broadcasting businesses, mainly from re-transmission fees paid by platform operators (cable, satellite, internet TV) for the transmission of free-TV and pay-TV signals and for making the Group’s streaming services available on the operators’ platforms. In 2023, distribution revenue was stable at €331 million (2022: €332 million). Distribution revenue is included in ‘Revenue from exploitation of programmes, rights and other assets’ as stated in note 5.1 to the consolidated financial statements.

Revenue from other rights exploitation was €318 million (2022: €264 million) and relates to SVOD revenue from the Group’s major streaming services and, among others, Groupe M6’s audiovisual rights business SND and We Are Era. Revenue from other rights exploitation is included in ‘Revenue from exploitation of programmes, rights and other assets’ as stated in note 5.1 to the consolidated financial statements.

Revenue from selling goods and merchandise and providing services, as stated in note 5.1 to the consolidated financial statements, relates to a variety of revenue streams, including commissions for handling advertising sales for third-party media partners, publishing subscriptions, e-commerce and a wide range of services businesses such as the technical services provider BCE, the streaming technology company Bedrock or the real-estate franchise Stéphane Plaza Immobilier at the level of Groupe M6. In 2023, revenue from selling goods and merchandise and providing services was €485 million (2022: €561 million). The decrease was mainly due to different disposals at the level of Groupe M6 in 2022 and 2023 and due to the sale and discontinuation of several magazine titles at the level of RTL Deutschland in 2023.

RTL Group’s revenue is well-diversified, with 38.0 per cent from TV advertising, 6.0 per cent from digital advertising, 6.0 per cent from radio, print and other advertising, 31.9 per cent from content, 5.3 per cent from distribution revenue, 5.1 per cent from other rights exploitation revenue and 7.7 per cent from selling goods and merchandise and providing services.

6 See note 5.1 to the consolidated financial statements on page 129. Fremantle’s total revenue of €2,266 million (2022: €2,347 million) includes inter-segment revenue of €226 million (2022: €200 million) – see note 1.30 to the consolidated financial statements.

As explained in the section about RTL Group’s strategy, building national streaming champions in the European countries where the Group has leading families of TV channels is imperative for the successful digital transformation and long-term growth of RTL Group (see page 50). In line with this strategic importance, RTL Group has communicated streaming targets since March 2020, relating to the number of paying subscribers, annual content spend, streaming revenue and profitability.

The Group’s major streaming services RTL+ in Germany and Hungary as well as 6play in France (to be rebranded M6+ in 2024) generate digital advertising revenue, distribution revenue as well as pay revenue (SVOD and TVOD) referred all combined as ‘streaming revenue’. In 2023, streaming revenue was up 72.6 per cent, to €283 million (2022: €164 million), thanks to the rapidly growing number of paying subscribers, higher revenue per subscriber and the first-time inclusion of 6play in France. Streaming revenue is presented in the revenue split in the categories ‘digital advertising’, ‘distribution’ and ‘other rights exploitation’. Further, streaming revenue is included in categories ‘Revenue from advertising’ and ‘Revenue from exploitation of programmes, rights and other assets’ presented in note 5.1 to the consolidated financial statements.

Geographical revenue overview

€ m
United States1,01516.31,00215.2
Other regions1,18719.01,31419.9

The figures from the previous year have been adjusted due to discontinued operations (see note 1.30 to the consolidated financial statements).

Adjusted EBITA

Adjusted EBITA1 declined to €782 million (2022: €922 million), mainly due to lower profit contributions from RTL Deutschland as the German TV advertising market decreased significantly in 2023. The Adjusted EBITA includes streaming start-up losses of €176 million (2022: €222 million). The Adjusted EBITA margin1 was 12.5 per cent (2022: 14.0 per cent).

For more detailed information and reconciliation of these measures see pages 57 to 59.

1 See Key performance indicators on page 59

Financial development over time

€ m
Adjusted EBITA7829221,1528531,156
Net cash/(debt)(291)180657236(384)
Operating cash conversion rate (in %)6849114123105
1 The figures from the previous year have been adjusted (see note 1.30 to the consolidated financial statements)
2 Figures prior to 2022 are as reported in the Annual Report 2022.

Operating cost base

Group operating cost base decreased to €5,774 million in 2023 (2022: €5,913 million), mainly due to lower costs relating to consumption of programme rights and expenses for live programmes.

Investments accounted for using the equity method

The total share of results of these investments increased to €61 million (2022: €13 million), mainly due to improved results from underlying companies, in particular from Atresmedia in Spain, and due to the discontinuation of Salto (following the abandoned merger between Groupe TF1 and Groupe M6). In 2022, the Group experienced a negative impact from its share of net losses from Salto, which amounted to €-18 million.

Fair value measurement of investments

Fair value measurement of investments of €-23 million (2022: €-78 million) is mostly attributable to the negative valuation effects of the Magnite shares held by RTL Group.

Gain from sale of subsidiaries, other investments and re-measurement to fair value of pre-existing interest in acquiree

In 2023, the Group recorded a gain of €40 million (2022: €107 million), mainly thanks to disposals by Groupe M6 and RTL Deutschland. In 2022, the gain resulted from the disposals of RTL Belgium and RTL Croatia.

Financial result

Financial result amounted to the expense of €–13 million (2022: €–56 million). The comprehensive description on the financial result is disclosed in the notes 5.4 and 5.5 to the consolidated financial statements.

Impairment of goodwill and amortisation and impairment of fair value adjustments on acquisitions of subsidiaries

The Group has conducted impairment testing on the different cash-generating units (see note 6.2 to the consolidated financial statements).

The loss, totalling €–43 million (2022: €–46 million), relates to the amortisation of fair value adjustments on acquisitions of subsidiaries.

Income tax expense

In 2023, the income tax expense was €–124 million (2022: €–130 million).

The profit for the year attributable to RTL Group shareholders was €467 million (2022: €673 million), thereof €352 million from continuing operations (2022: €549 million) and €115 million from discontinued operations (2022: €124 million).

Earnings per share

Earnings per share, based upon 154,742,806 weighted average number of ordinary shares, both basic and diluted, was €2.27 (2022: €3.55 per share based on 154,742,806 shares).

Own shares

RTL Group has an issued share capital of €191,845,074 divided into 154,742,806 fully paid-up shares with no defined par value.

Since 31 December 2020, the Group no longer holds treasury shares.

Profit appropriation (RTL Group SA)

The annual accounts of RTL Group show a profit for the financial year 2023 of €69,677,341 (2022: €104,596,391). Taking into account the share premium account of €3,652,764,148 (2022: €4,167,138,981) and the profit brought forward of €70,963,534 (2022: €70,963,534), a sufficient amount is available for distribution.

Main portfolio changes

After the announcement of the reorganisation of its publishing business in February 2023, RTL Deutschland completed in the second half-year transactions, among others, the sale of PM, Deutsche Medien-Manufaktur and 11 Freunde. The disposals resulted in net cash inflows of €4 million.

In July 2023, RTL Group sold its majority stake in CTZAR to the Group The Independents, which resulted in net cash inflows of €3 million. Net of transaction-related costs, the transaction resulted in an overall gain of €2 million.

In September 2023, Groupe M6 sold its thematic online media and services businesses, comprising eight main brands: Cuisine AZ, Passeport Santé, Fourchette & Bikini, Déco, Turbo, M6 météo, Croq’Kilos and Croq’Body to Prisma Media (owned by Vivendi), which resulted in net cash inflows of €20 million.

For more detailed information see note 4.3 to the consolidated financial statements.

Major related party transactions

At 31 December 2023, the principal shareholder of the Group is Bertelsmann Capital Holding GmbH (BCH) (76.28 per cent). The remainder of the Group’s shares are publicly listed on the Frankfurt and Luxembourg Stock Exchanges. The ultimate parent company of RTL Group SA, Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA, includes in its consolidated financial statements those of RTL Group SA.

The Group also has a related party relationship with its associates, joint ventures, directors and executive officers.

The comprehensive description on the related party transactions is disclosed in note 10 to the consolidated financial statements.



The geopolitical and macroeconomic environment remains volatile, and the impact on RTL Group’s businesses continues to be hard to predict. On the basis of a slight recovery of the German TV advertising market and broadly stable advertising markets in the Group’s other territories,

  • RTL Group expects its full-year revenue to increase to around €6.6 billion, based on higher revenue from RTL Deutschland (mainly driven by strong growth in streaming revenue) and Fremantle (mainly driven by a recovery in the US market and acquisitions).
  • RTL Group expects its Adjusted EBITA for 2024 to be around €750 million, with a variance of plus/minus €50 million, depending on the development of the German and French TV advertising markets in 2024. This Adjusted EBITA outlook includes higher content costs, primarily for the broadcast of Euro 2024 matches in France and Germany, and higher streaming start-up losses (2023: €176 million) primarily due to the investments in M6+ in France.
  • RTL Group’s dividend policy remains unchanged: RTL Group plans to pay out at least 80 per cent of the adjusted full-year net result.
Adjusted EBITA€782m~€750m (+/- €50m)
Adjusted EBITA before streaming start-up losses€176m~€200m

Strategic targets for RTL Group’s streaming services

Paying subscribers5.6m~9m
Streaming revenue€283m~€750m
Content spend per annum€270m~€500m

Profitability is expected by 20263.

1 RTL+ in Germany, 6play in France and RTL+ in Hungary
2 RTL+ in Germany, M6+ (previously 6play) in France and RTL+ in Hungary
3 Total of Adjusted EBITA from RTL+ in Germany and Hungary, M6+ in France and Bedrock as consolidated on RTL Group level. The Adjusted EBITA of RTL+ in Germany and Hungary and M6+ includes synergies with TV channels at business unit level. For the definition of Adjusted EBITA please see Key performance indicators on pages 57 to 59

Fremantle targets

Fremantle targets full-year revenue of €3 billion by 2025/2026.

To achieve this goal, RTL Group is investing significantly in Fremantle – both organically and via acquisitions – across entertainment, drama and film, and documentaries.

After integrating its acquired labels/production companies into the Fremantle network and reducing overhead, Fremantle’s Adjusted EBITA margin is expected to increase to 9 per cent by 2026.

Review by segments

Full year 2023

Per cent
RTL Deutschland2,6202,766(5.3)
Groupe M61,3161,357(3.0)
Other segments350411(14.8)
Total revenue6,2346,589(5.4)
Adjusted EBITA2023
Per cent
RTL Deutschland321459(30.1)
Groupe M6311304+2.3
Other segments11(12)
Adjusted EBITA782922(15.2)
Adjusted EBITA margin2023
per cent
per cent
RTL Deutschland12.316.6(4.3)
Groupe M623.622.41.2
RTL Group12.514.0(1.5)
* The figures from the previous year have been adjusted due to discontinued operations (see note 1.30 to the consolidated financial statements).

RTL Deutschland

Financial results

In the reporting period, the German net TV advertising market was estimated to be down between 9.5 and 10.5 per cent, with RTL Deutschland performing better than the market. Total revenue of RTL Deutschland was down 5.3 per cent to €2,620 million (2022: €2,766 million), due to significantly lower TV advertising revenue. This was partly compensated by higher streaming revenue. Adjusted EBITA declined 30.1 per cent to €321 million (2022: €459 million), mainly due to significantly lower TV advertising revenue and significant streaming start-up losses.

Audience ratings

In 2023, the combined average audience share of RTL Deutschland in the target group of viewers aged 14 to 59 was 27.4 per cent (2022: 26.8 per cent), including the pay-TV channels RTL Crime, RTL Living, RTL Passion and Geo Television. The German RTL family of channels increased its lead over its main commercial competitor, ProSiebenSat1, to 5.8 percentage points – the highest in 10 years (audience share 2022: 21.6 per cent, lead up 1.3 percentage point compared to the previous year).

With its portfolio of eight free-TV channels, four pay-TV channels and the streaming service RTL+, RTL Deutschland reached 26.5 million viewers every day in 2023 (2022: 27.9 million).

With an audience share of 9.4 per cent (up 0.3 percentage points) in the target group of viewers aged 14 to 59 (2022: 9.1 per cent), the German main channel RTL was the leading commercial channel in 2023 and the only large channel increasing its audience share, ahead of ZDF (9.2 per cent), Das Erste (8.7 per cent), Vox (6.2 per cent), Sat1 (6.0 per cent) and Prosieben (5.4 per cent).

The match of the German national football team against the US team was the channel’s most watched programme in 2023. On average, 7.47 million total viewers (30.3 per cent) watched the premiere of coach Julian Nagelsmann on 14 October 2023 (14 to 59: 3.72 million viewers; 34.3 per cent audience share). The NFL games were also very successful on the German main channel RTL. On 19 November 2023, the NFL game of the Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions generated the highest total reach of an NFL regular season game (at 19:00) on German free-to-air TV, with a total of 850,000 viewers. Ich bin ein Star – Holt mich hier raus! (I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here!) was also very successful in 2023, and even more popular than in the previous year. On average, 4.14  million total viewers (21.6 per cent total audience share) watched the 16th season, representing an average audience share of 29.2 per cent in the commercial target group of viewers aged 14 to 59. The 16th season of Let’s Dance generated the best audience share since 2014 among total viewers, scoring an average of 17.5 per cent. The dance show also generated high ratings in the commercial target group, with an 18.1 per cent audience share (2022: 17.6 per cent). With an average audience share of 11.4 per cent in the target group of viewers 14 to 59, the news magazine Punkt 12 increased its market share compared to 2022 (10.5 per cent). In access prime time, the daily series Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten continued to generate a high audience share and attracted 13.9 per cent of viewers aged 14 to 59 (2022: 13.7 per cent).

The streaming service RTL+ continued its rapid growth with a record year in 2023, reaching 4.941 million paying subscribers at the end of the year – an increase of 23.0 per cent (2022: 4.016 million). Viewing time increased by 26.3 per cent year on year, making RTL+ the leading German entertainment offering in the streaming market. This success was thanks to the wide range and increased number of programmes available, including reality TV shows such as Sommerhaus der Stars, Are You The OneReality Stars in Love and Temptation Island, and fictional series such as Sisi, Dünentod, Auris and Pumuckl’s New Adventures. The football match AS Monaco vs. Bayer Leverkusen also attracted large audiences. The most-watched original documentary was Bushido & Anna-Maria – Alles auf Familie.

In 2023, Vox ranked second among the commercial channels with an average audience share of 6.2 per cent in the target group of viewers aged 14 to 59 (2022: 6.2 per cent) and a 4.7 per cent total audience share (2022: 4.7 per cent). Furthermore, the channel again ranked third among the commercial channels in the target group of viewers aged 14 to 49, with an average audience share of 6.7 per cent (2022: 6.7 per cent). The cooking show Grill den Henssler celebrated its strongest autumn season in five years (7.5 per cent) and the best spring season in four years (6.9 per cent) in the target group of viewers aged 14 to 59. First Dates Hotel recorded the best season average in prime time in the 14 to 59 target group (7.3 per cent) and First Dates – Ein Tisch für zwei (6.4 per cent) the best average share since its launch. Die Höhle der Löwen (Dragons’ Den) remained popular, generating the best spring season ever, with an average audience share of 10.2 per cent in the commercial target group of viewers aged 14 to 59. The documentary Zum Schwarzwälder Hirsch – eine außergewöhnliche Küchencrew und Tim Mälzer, meanwhile, was watched by 8.5 per cent of the same target group. New records were also generated by Die Beet-Brüder (10.6 per cent) and Die Autodoktoren (10.2 per cent). The new prime-time formats Doc Caro – Jedes Leben zählt (6.6 per cent) and Lege kommt auf den Geschmack (6.0 per cent) were also successful.

Nitro attracted 2.2 per cent of the 14 to 59 target group (2022: 2.2 per cent) and 3.2 per cent of its main target demographic of men aged 30 to 49 (2022: 3.0 per cent).

The news channel NTV scored a total audience share of 1.1 per cent and attracted 1.2 per cent of viewers aged 14 to 59 (2022: 1.2 per cent and 1.4 per cent).

RTL Up, previously RTL Plus, attained a 2.1 per cent audience share in the target group aged 14 to 59 (2022: 1.9 per cent).

Vox Up generated an audience share of 0.7 per cent in the target group of viewers aged 14 to 59 (2022: 0.6 per cent).

Super RTL retained its leading position in the children’s segment in 2023, attracting an average audience share of 19.7 per cent in the target group of three to 13-year-olds between 06:00 and 20:15, including Toggo Plus (2022: 17.4 per cent). This placed Super RTL ahead of the public service broadcaster KiKA (15.0 per cent) and Disney (13.1 per cent).

In 2023, RTL Zwei’s market share was 3.6 per cent among 14 to 59-year-old viewers (2022: 3.7 per cent).

RTL Deutschland’s publishing business continued to be impacted by the challenging market environment, mainly due to increased prices for paper and energy, alongside increasing inflation due to political challenges. In the latest reach analysis of ma Pressemedien 2024 by Arbeitsgemeinschaft Media-Analyse e.V. (agma), Stern headed the analysis with 3.88 million readers in 2023 (2022: 3.77 million), clearly ahead of Der Spiegel (3.60 million) and Focus (3.11 million). According to IVW figures, Stern lost 7.3 per cent in total circulation and 0.7 percentage points in market share compared to 2022 (IVW 2022: 26.4 per cent). Compared to 2022, the women’s magazine Brigitte increased its total sales by 0.5 per cent in 2023 and was the leading magazine in this segment. Although the circulation of Gala was slightly down by 1.6 per cent compared to 2022, the celebrity magazine increased its market share in retail sales by 1.0 percentage points compared to 2022 (IVW 2022: 20.8 per cent; 2023: 21.83 per cent).

Radio consumption in Germany remained strong in 2023, reaching 74.1 per cent of Germans aged 14+ daily (2022: 74.5 per cent) – with an average listening time of 242 minutes per day (2022: 249 minutes). RTL Group’s German radio portfolio reached over 55 million Germans aged 14+ every month (2022: 55 million). 104.6 RTL maintained its market-leading position in the highly competitive Berlin/Brandenburg radio market in the target group of listeners aged 14 to 49. Many radio stations increased their reach year on year, including Radio Brocken (up 33.6 per cent among listeners aged 14 to 49), 89.0 RTL (up 10.7 per cent among listeners 14+), Hitradio RTL Sachsen (up 12.9 per cent among listeners 14+) and Radio 21 (up 15.2 per cent among listeners 14+). The national programme RTL – Deutschlands Hit-Radio now reaches 541,000 listeners per day (an increase in reach of 12.5 per cent among listeners 14+), and the children’s and family radio Toggo Radio – the newest member of the RTL family of channels – increased its reach 27.8 per cent among listeners aged 14+.

Groupe M6

Financial results

In 2023, the French net TV advertising market was estimated to be down 4 per cent compared to 2022, with Groupe M6 performing in line with the market. Groupe M6’s total revenue was down by 3.0 per cent to €1,316 million (2022: €1,357 million). The decrease in revenue was mainly due to scope effects and lower TV advertising revenue. Groupe M6’s Adjusted EBITA was up 2.3 per cent to €311 million (2022: €304 million), mainly driven by Groupe M6’s diversification businesses partly offset by lower contributions from TV advertising revenue.

Audience ratings

The audience share of the Groupe M6 family of free-to-air channels in the commercial target group (women under 50 responsible for purchases) reached 21.9 per cent (2022: 22.3 per cent), thereby representing the second-most-watched commercial family of TV channels in France. In the target group of viewers aged 25 to 49, the combined audience share of Groupe M6 was slightly up to 20.5 per cent (2022: 20.3 per cent). The total audience share was 13.0 per cent (2022: 13.5 per cent). On average, again 23.0 million viewers watched Groupe M6’s free-to-air channels every day in 2023 (2022: 23.0 million).

Flagship channel M6 retained its status as the second-most-watched commercial channel in France in the commercial target group, with an average audience share of 13.5 per cent (2022: 14.1 per cent), thanks to sports events such as the Women’s FIFA Football World Cup and the Rugby World Cup. M6 successfully aired all its strong brands such as L’Amour est dans le pré (The Farmer Wants a Wife), Top Chef and La France a Un Incroyable Talent (Got Talent). At the same time, the channel introduced new favourites such as Les Traîtres (The Traitors) and continued with the successful show Qui veut être mon associé? (The Apprentice). In 2023, the iconic news magazine Enquête Exclusive achieved its best-ever season among the commercial target group.

The advertising-financed streaming service 6play recorded 21.3 million active users in 2023 (2022: 24.5 million).

W9 reached an average audience share of 3.7 per cent among women under 50 responsible for purchases (2022: 3.6 per cent), ranking second among the DTT channels in France in this target group. Reality series, sports, films and magazines continued to score high ratings.

Among the new generation of DTT channels, 6ter achieved an average audience share of 2.7 per cent (2022: 2.7 per cent) with a strong magazine offer in prime time and a large film offer.

With Gulli, Groupe M6 was the leader among the children’s target group (aged 4 to 10 years) during daytime (06:00 to 20:00), attracting an average audience share of 13.0 per cent (2022: 12.6 per cent). With the development of its evening offer Gulli Prime, the channel achieved its best-ever year in prime time among the commercial target group.

In 2023, the RTL radio family of stations registered a consolidated audience share of 17.6 per cent among listeners aged 13 and older (2022: 18.4 per cent). Its flagship station RTL Radio was the leading commercial station in France with an average audience share of 12.2 per cent (2022: 12.8 per cent). The pop-rock station RTL 2 recorded an average audience share of 2.8 per cent (2022: 3.1 per cent), while Fun Radio registered an average audience share of 2.6 per cent (2022: 2.5 per cent).


Financial results

Revenue at RTL Group’s content business, Fremantle, was down by 3.5 per cent to €2,266 million in 2023 (2022: €2,347 million), mainly due to timing effects and negative foreign exchange rate effects, which were partly offset by positive scope effects. The business unit’s revenue decreased 4.9 per cent organically1, mainly due to timing effects. Accordingly, Adjusted EBITA declined 14.2 per cent to €139 million (2022: €162 million).


Within its entertainment business, the 16th season of Britain’s Got Talent won an average total audience share of 34.6 per cent or 5.8 million viewers, making it ITV1’s number-two entertainment show of the year. Launching on Disney+ in September 2023, Italia’s Got Talent was in the top ten Disney+ shows each day throughout the month and was the number-one show on Disney+ for 20 days. In the US, the 18th season of America’s Got Talent launched on 30 May, attaining an average total audience share of 12.3 per cent for the season, ranking as NBC’s number-two entertainment series of the 2022/23 season. In Spain, the debut series of Got Talent: All Stars launched on Telecinco, winning an average total audience share of 10.5 per cent and consistently ranking as the broadcaster’s number-one show of the day.

American Idol crowned a new winner in season 21, achieving an average total audience share of 10.6 per cent and ranking as ABC’s top show of the 2022/23 season. Airing its 20th season in Germany, Deutschland sucht den Superstar attained a 12.6 per cent share in the key commercial target group of viewers aged 14 to 59, outperforming RTL’s prime-time average, and was renewed for a new season in 2024. The 11th season of Indian Idol won an average total audience share of 2.3 per cent and performed 77 per cent higher than the prime-time average audience share for Set (India’s number-one Hindi TV channel for reality TV shows and soaps).

The Apprentice was BBC One’s number-two entertainment show of the year. The 17th series won an average total audience share of 30.9 per cent or 6.3 million viewers.

Farmer Wants a Wife launched in the US as Fox’s highest-rated new entertainment show in over a year and has been renewed for a second season. New to Canada for 2023, the English-language version of Farmer Wants a Wife has significantly outperformed CTV’s prime-time average audience share.

The third season of The Masked Singer in Sweden achieved an average total audience share of 53.0 per cent, ranking as TV4’s highest-rated show of the year. In Belgium (Flanders), The Masked Singer was 2023’s number-one show of the year, with an average total audience share of 52.6 per cent on VTM, the leading commercial TV channel in Flanders.

Drama and film

2023 saw multiple new drama launches around the world. East Side from Abot Hameiri in Israel launched on the country’s public channel Kan 11, and Sullivan’s Crossing premiered on Canada’s leading commercial TV network CTV in March, where it was soon commissioned for a second season. In the US, Sullivan’s Crossing was The CW’s highest-rated acquired drama launch in over a year.

Fremantle US launched Fellow Travelers on Showtime in October 2023 to huge critical acclaim – the series was the 4th most-watched show on Paramount+ in the US every day in its first week.

The comedy-drama series Wellmania from Fremantle Australia broke into the Top Ten TV series on Netflix in 40 countries, peaking at number two in Australia and New Zealand. The Gallows Pole from Element Pictures won a total audience share of 9.3 per cent and was BBC Two’s number-one drama of the year. From Wildside in Italy, The Good Mothers launched on Disney+ after winning the inaugural Series Award at the 2023 Berlinale. From UFA in Germany, Sam: A Saxon also launched on Disney+ in 48 territories to huge acclaim.

Neighbours returned to a new home on Amazon Freevee. In the first 28 days in the UK, Neighbours became the number-one Freevee Original and has also driven the most non-Prime customers to the free streaming service.

In Italy, Lux Vide produced three of the most-watched TV series in 2023 for Rai. Sister Angela’s Girls season seven was the third-most-watched TV series on Rai for 2023, with an average total audience share of 22.8 per cent. The second season of Blanca was the fourth-most-watched series with an average total audience share of 23.0 per cent, and One Step From Heaven season seven was the fifth-most-watched series with an average share of 22.6 per cent.

Within the growing film business, C'è ancora domani from Wildside won three awards at the Rome Film Festival and achieved great success at the Italian box office. With more than 5 million admissions, it became Italy’s number-one and highest-grossing film of the year following its launch in October 2023. This makes it the fifth-highest-grossing Italian film of all time at the Italian box office.

Fremantle had five films in competition at the 2023 Venice Film Festival, with Poor Things from Element Pictures winning the Golden Lion and Priscilla from The Apartment Pictures winning the Volpi Cup for Best Actress for lead actress Cailee Spaeny.


In the documentary business, US label Original Productions launched Waco: American Apocalypse on Netflix, which ranked in Netflix’s Top 10 TV series in 13 countries, including the US and the UK, with 43 million hours viewed in the first half of 2023. Original Productions also signed a first-look deal with Hudlin Entertainment and had the world premiere of their documentary film Rather, about the iconic US journalist Dan Rather, at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival.

House of Kardashian from 72 Films launched on Sky Documentaries in October 2023, ranking as Sky Documentaries’ number-four new series premiere of 2023. 72 Films also launched 007: Road to a Million on Amazon Prime Video. The documentary charted in Prime Video’s daily top ten shows in 92 countries and number one in 35 countries, including the UK, and was the streaming service’s most-watched unscripted show in November 2023.

On Disney+, Fremantle Australia launched a new docuseries Matildas: The World at Our Feet, about the national women’s football team.

Fremantle secured the global rights to On the Line: The Richard Williams Story, which had its UK premiere at Sheffield Doc Fest, alongside a new documentary about French icon Brigitte Bardot, and a series about fashion icon Coco Chanel from Gabriel Jagger’s WhyNow Productions. Fremantle also revealed its new documentary label, Undeniable, which will focus on producing world-class premium feature documentaries such as The Second Woman and Devo, which had its world premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2024.

1 Adjusted for portfolio changes and at constant exchange rates. Further details can be found in Key performance indicators on page 57

Other segments

This segment mainly comprises the fully consolidated businesses RTL Hungary, RTL Group’s Luxembourgish activities, RTL Group’s digital video company We Are Era and the streaming technology company Bedrock. It also includes the investment accounted for using the equity method, Atresmedia, in Spain.

The Hungarian net TV advertising market was estimated to be up by 7.8 per cent in 2023, with RTL Hungary outperforming the market. Total revenue of RTL Hungary was up by 10.6 per cent to €125 million (2022: €113 million), thanks to higher TV advertising, distribution and streaming revenue. The business unit’s Adjusted EBITA was down to €6 million (2022: €13 million), mainly due to higher programme costs.

With a combined prime-time audience share of 28.41 per cent in the key demographic of 18 to 49-year-old viewers (2022: 28.9 per cent), the eight channels of RTL Hungary were 3.2 percentage points behind the main commercial competitor TV2 Group, which has 14 channels. In December 2023, RTL Hungary added four new cable channels to its portfolio, increasing the number of linear channels it operates to 12. This represented RTL Hungary’s largest cable channel expansion to date. The Hungarian flagship channel RTL reached a prime-time audience share of 14.3 per cent among viewers aged 18 to 49 (2022: 15.0 per cent), 1.5 percentage points behind TV2 (2022: 1.1 percentage points ahead of TV2). The flagship channel was the most-watched channel in Hungary in the months of June, July, August and November, and the channel’s programmes dominated the national top-ten list of TV programmes in the 18-49 age group. The market-leading news programme RTL Híradó attracted 20.0 per cent of viewers aged 18 to 49 (2022: 19.6 per cent), while the most successful show on RTL in Hungary was Sztárbox (Celebrity Boxing), with an average audience share of 30.3 per cent of viewers aged 18 to 49. Another hit format was the Hungarian version of The Traitors, which reached an average audience share of 23.3 per cent in the commercial target group and was particularly successful with younger audiences. The hit show Power Couple attracted an average audience share of 23.8 per cent, up 2.6 percentage points (2022: 21.2 per cent).

In November 2022, RTL Hungary launched RTL+, a subscription-based, advertising-free streaming service. RTL Hungary’s previous advertising-funded streaming service, RTL Most, and the advertising and distribution-funded streaming service, RTL Most+, were integrated under the packages RTL+ Light and RTL+ Active. RTL+ and RTL+ Active saw strong growth in paying subscribers compared to the end of December 2023. The 11th season of the reality format ValóVilág powered by Big Brother, Drága örökösök (Dear Heirs – The Return) and RTL Hungary's own-produced comedy series A mi kis falunk (Our Little Village) were among the most-watched programmes. In 2023, RTL Hungary added 105 new titles and 555 hours of new content to its streaming service RTL+.

In 2023, RTL Luxembourg continued its position as the leading media brand in Luxembourg. The company adopted the unified RTL brand identity across all channels and platforms as of April 2023. The implementation was accompanied by a comprehensive marketing campaign, focusing on RTL’s core values and catering to Luxembourg’s multilingual audience with the slogans ‘All Moment RTL’, ‘Every moment RTL’ and ‘Les moments RTL’.

With its TV, streaming, radio and digital activities, the RTL Luxembourg media family achieved several audience successes2. Audience highlights of 2023 were the coverage of the country’s general election on its TV channel RTL Télé Lëtzebuerg, its radio channels Radio Luxembourg and RTL Today, as well as on its website rtl.lu. Sport highlights of 2023 included the broadcast of the Uefa Champions League and the Uefa European Qualifiers. In November 2023, RTL Luxembourg announced that it will continue to broadcast Formula One races for the next three seasons, until 2026, to further strengthen its sports offering.

In 2023, Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE), RTL Group’s technical services provider, launched its media-as-a-service offer: a one-stop shop for customers to build a customised set of media solutions, products and services. With this offer, BCE aims to support customers as a trusted partner – and realised diverse projects in this capacity during 2023. For L’Equipe, BCE used its award-winning remote voice-over solution Holovox for commentary at events such as the Basketball Euroleague. Holovox was used by 220 customers at 39 different sports events for a total of 6,425 hours during 2023. For RTL Hungary, BCE provided its Playit technology for the launch of four new cable channels. For Louis Vuitton, BCE’s technology was used to livestream the Hong Kong fashion show to 93 million viewers. And for Groupe Figaro, BCE used its integration and service expertise to install a production centre and broadcast its TV channel from Luxembourg.

In 2023, We Are Era further strengthened its leading positions in talent management and content production, alongside expanding its campaign business with new clients such as Deutsche Telekom and Sixt. In 2023, We Are Era developed its data-driven cultural and community marketing business on ‘new’ social platforms such as Twitch for customers such as Teekanne Deutschland or Vodafone Stiftung. We Are Era’s revenue was stable in 2023.

The Spanish net TV advertising market increased by an estimated 2.9 per cent in 2023. On a 100 per cent basis, consolidated revenue of Atresmedia was slightly up by 2.1 per cent to €971 million (2022: €951 million), while operating profit (EBITDA) remained stable at €173 million (2022: €173 million), and net profit was €171 million (2022: €113 million). The strong increase in net profit was primarily due to lower income tax expenses due to the recognition of unused tax credits. The profit share of RTL Group was €32 million (2022: €21 million).

The Atresmedia family of channels achieved a combined audience share of 25.7 per cent in the commercial target group of viewers aged 25 to 59 (2022: 26.4 per cent). The main channel, Antena 3, recorded an audience share of 10.6 per cent (2022: 11.5 per cent) in the commercial target group.

For more information on investments in associates, see note 6.5.2 to the consolidated financial statements in the RTL Group Annual Report 2022.

1 RTL Hungary changed the publication of its audience figures from 2022 and is now using ‘Linear SHR’ audience share data, which is calculated without the ‘Other’ category of Nielsen
2 Luxembourg’s market research institute ILRES did not publish its Plurimédia audience results for 2023. Therefore, there are no audience shares for RTL Luxembourg’s TV and radio stations available for 2023

Non-financial information

Corporate responsibility (CR)

RTL Group believes that CR adds value not only to the societies and communities it serves, but also to the Group and its businesses. Acting responsibly and sustainably enhances the Group’s ability to remain successful in the future.

CR is integral to the Group’s strategy. The core RTL brand was repositioned in 2021 with a new identity, a clear set of brand principles and a new design reflecting the diversity of RTL. With this, RTL has been strengthened as Europe’s leading entertainment brand that stands for entertainment and independent journalism, as well as inspiration, energy and attitude. ‘We act responsibly’ is one of eight defined brand principles that guide the company’s action and define what RTL stands for. At the heart of RTL’s guiding principles and values is a commitment to embracing independence and diversity in its people, content and businesses.

RTL Group’s future non-financial reporting

In December 2022, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) was adopted by the European Parliament and came into force on 5 January 2023. The new directive aims to expand existing requirements for non-financial reporting. As a large listed Public Interest Entity (PIE), the reporting requirements of the CSRD will also apply to RTL Group starting from the financial year 2024. RTL Group will publish its non-financial reporting as part of its Annual Report 2024.

Companies subject to the CSRD must report according to European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), and the sustainability information reported must be audited.

To prepare for the implementation of the CSRD and ESRS, RTL Group’s Corporate Centre has established a working group under the leadership of its CFO, comprising experts from HR, Legal, Finance/Consolidation, Communications & Investor Relations, Compliance, Audit and IT. These experts are in close contact with their counterparts at the Group’s business units, the Group’s external auditors and Bertelsmann. By the end of 2023, RTL Group’s CSRD working group finalised the preparation of the Group’s materiality assessment and therefore determined the scope and depth of RTL Group’s future non-financial reporting. The double materiality assessment, as stipulated by the CSRD, refers to two dimensions: financial materiality requires disclosure of matters that (may) trigger material financial effects on a company’s development, such as cash flows, financial position or financial performance, in the short, medium or long term. Impact materiality requires disclosure of matters relating to effects on people or the environment. Assessments of both dimensions are required for all companies. So far, RTL Group has determined a total of 59 material metrics across the areas ‘environmental’, ‘social’ and ‘governance’. In 2024, the Group will begin drafting the first report in accordance with ESRS. This process includes a test run in the first half of 2024 for all S-related metrics determined as material.

RTL Group’s current non-financial reporting

The information of the Combined Non-Financial Statement (which complies with the current European Directive 2014/95/EU and provisions by the law of 23 July 2016 regarding the publication of non-financial and diversity information in Luxembourg) can be found in the Annual Report of RTL Group’s majority shareholder, Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA. Further information on RTL Group’s non-financial information can also be found in the GRI reporting of Bertelsmann SE & Co KGaA on bertelsmann.com.

RTL Group’s CR organisation

The RTL CR Board unites executives from RTL Group and RTL Deutschland. The Board meets regularly to coordinate projects in key areas such as diversity, creative/editorial independence and climate protection, to develop new ideas and to ensure efficient use of expertise at both the Corporate Centre and RTL Deutschland.

The CR Board also meets annually with participants from specialist departments within RTL Deutschland, such as Youth Protection, the association Stiftung RTL – Wir helfen Kindern, Communications, and RTL Group’s Human Resources, Investor Relations and Compliance departments. The RTL Group CR Network – created in March 2014 and consisting of CR representatives from the Group and its business units – meets annually to share best practices and knowledge. In addition, RTL Group established a Climate Task Force, consisting of members from all business units, which meets to discuss, collaborate and define actions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, with the target of becoming climate neutral by 2030. In May 2022, RTL Group’s largest business unit, RTL Deutschland, established a department for sustainability and diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI). In 2023, Fremantle established ten employee-led groups focusing on topics like mental health and wellbeing, accessibility, as well as race and ethnicity, which are sponsored by the executive leadership and directly influence decision-making.

RTL Group’s CR activities focus primarily on the following issues: content responsibility, creative/editorial independence and freedom of expression, intellectual property and copyright, fair working conditions, DEI, health, safety and wellbeing, learning (including digital media literacy) and climate change. These issues were identified in a materiality analysis in consultation with internal and external stakeholders. The core of the survey was the assessment of 19 CR topics – internally, according to their relevance for the business, and externally, according to their relevance for stakeholders. The survey was conducted in 2020 in close consultation with the Group’s majority shareholder Bertelsmann. Going forward, the double materiality assessment under ESRS will replace the survey.

Relevance matrix

Creative/editorial independence

RTL Group’s broadcasting and news reporting are founded on editorial and journalistic independence. RTL Group’s commitment to impartiality, responsibility and other core journalistic principles is articulated in its Newsroom Guidelines. Maintaining audience trust has become even more important in an era when news organisations and tech platforms have been accused of publishing misleading stories, and when individuals, radical political movements and even hostile powers post fake news on social networks to sow discord.

For RTL Group, independence means being able to provide news and information without compromising its journalistic principles and balanced position. Local CEOs act as publishers and are not involved in producing content. In each news organisation, editors-in-chief apply rigorous ethical standards and ensure compliance with local guidelines, which gives the Group’s journalists the freedom to express a range of opinions, reflecting society’s diversity and supporting democracy. In 2023, RTL Deutschland reviewed the guidelines that RTL News has been working with and incorporated new requirements on cross-media production, social media activities by journalists and Artificial Intelligence (AI). With these updated guidelines, RTL Deutschland ensures that all employees have the same understanding of the quality of journalistic work, regardless of their work area, TV, digital and print.


With a diverse audience and a business based on creativity, RTL Group needs to be a diverse organisation. In 2023, the Group had an average of 12,835 full-time employees (total headcount: 17,732 including permanent and temporary staff) in more than 26 countries worldwide. These employees range from producers and finance professionals to journalists and digital technology experts.

RTL Group strives to be an employer of choice that attracts and retains the best talent, while equipping employees with the necessary skills and competencies to successfully master the company’s current and future challenges. It does this by offering training programmes and individual coaching in a wide range of subjects, from strategy and leadership to digital skills and health, safety and wellbeing. It reviews and, if necessary, adjusts its training offers on an ongoing basis.

RTL Group’s corporate culture is founded on creativity and entrepreneurship. The Group strives to ensure that all employees receive fair recognition, treatment and opportunities, and is committed to fair and gender-blind pay. The same applies to the remuneration of freelancers and temporary staff, ensuring that such employment relationships do not compromise or circumvent employee rights. The Group also strives to support flexible-working arrangements.

The Covid-19 crisis has deeply changed the world of work. The balance between working in the office and remotely is a relevant step to continue offering flexibility and efficiency for those employees whose functions do not require office presence.

Every two years, all RTL employees are invited to participate in the Bertelsmann employee survey. In 2023, RTL Group received a response rate of 76.4 per cent, corresponding to 9,541 respondents from 134 companies across 22 countries and in 11 languages (excluding temporary workers and Groupe M6). The survey delivered positive feedback across various important dimensions, including CR-related topics. Employees feel that their manager treats them with respect (highest overall satisfaction rate of 93 per cent), assigns them independent tasks (89 per cent) and supports them through challenges (87 per cent). Areas for improvement include total compensation received (40 per cent), support for professional development (54 per cent), and commitment to protecting the environment and climate (62 per cent) – all of which are important feedback points that RTL Group takes seriously. Since 2021, the employee survey includes a CR Index, summarised in the following graphic, to help track the progress of RTL Group-wide CR initiatives. The next employee survey will be conducted in 2025.

Employee survey 20231: CR Index at 74 per cent – Target: 80 per cent

1 Calculation based on the average of positive responses to seven questions of the 2023 Employee Survey in the following categories: Health & wellbeing; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Fair working conditions; Learning; Climate change


RTL Group’s commitment to diversity is embedded in its processes and articulated in its corporate principles. The cornerstone is the RTL Group Diversity Statement, which reinforces the company’s commitment to promoting diversity and ensuring equal opportunities. It sets guidelines and qualitative ambitions for the diversity of the Group’s people, content and businesses.

RTL Group is committed to making every level of the organisation more diverse regarding nationality, gender, age, ethnicity, religion and socio-economic background. The Group places a special emphasis on gender diversity. RTL Group’s overall workforce is balanced by gender (with 47 per cent men and 53 per cent women as at 31 December 2023) while women account for 36 per cent of top management positions (31 December 2022: 36 per cent), and 37 per cent of senior management positions (31 December 2022: 33 per cent).

Top management generally encompasses the members of the Executive Committee, the CEOs of the business units and their direct reports, members of the Management Boards, and the Executive Committee direct reports at RTL Group’s Corporate Centre. Senior management generally encompasses the Managing Directors of the businesses at each business unit, the heads of the business units’ departments and the Senior Vice Presidents at RTL Group’s Corporate Centre (unless classified as members of top management).

RTL Group’s long-term ambition is for women and men to be represented equally at all levels. In 2022, RTL Group’s Executive Committee reviewed the Group’s objectives and set the following quantitative target: to increase the share of women in top and senior management positions to at least 40 per cent by the end of 2025. The Group reports on its progress towards these diversity targets each year. At the end of 2023, the ratio of women in top and senior management positions was 37 per cent, up 17 percentage points compared to 2016, when RTL Group reported those measures for the first time (2016: 20 per cent; 2022: 34 per cent).

The importance of diversity is also reflected in the content the Group produces. Millions of people who turn to RTL Group each day for the latest local, national and international news need a source they can trust. RTL Group therefore maintains a journalistic balance that reflects the diverse opinions of the societies it serves. The same commitment to diversity applies to the Group’s entertainment programming: it is essential for RTL Group to create formats for a wide range of audiences across all platforms. Many different segments of society should be able to identify with the diverse content offered.

In Germany, RTL Deutschland initiated its second diversity week (Woche der Vielfalt) with a focus on inclusion. During this week, RTL Deutschland reported extensively on its news and magazine programmes to increase visibility of people with disabilities. A highlight from the week was coverage of the Special Olympic World Games, one of the world’s largest inclusive sporting events, which took place in Berlin in June 2023. RTL Deutschland was a partner of the Games’ media alliance. A marketing campaign on TV, digital, radio and social media accompanied the theme week, bringing people with disabilities together with well-known RTL faces. RTL Deutschland’s flagship channel RTL and Vox broadcasted special formats like Der Schwarzwälder Hirsch – Ein Jahr danach (Zum Schwarzwälder Hirsch – One year later), a reunion of the Grimme Award-winning inclusive TV documentary in which people with Down syndrome learn how to run a restaurant.

Since 2020, RTL Deutschland has supported the ‘Storytellers’ competition, in which students from selected film schools are invited to develop and submit a concept for a young-adult series for RTL+. The first winning project of the competition already premiered as an RTL+ original in 2022, while winners of the 2023 edition will realise their projects in 2024. The competition is now supported by the Film- and Medienstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW), a leading German funding institution supporting the development of film and TV projects in NRW. In the future, ‘Storytellers’ will offer a production budget of up to €1.5 million, opening up new possibilities in production.

In 2023, Fremantle continued to make progress towards building an equitable and inclusive culture across its business and content. To attract, develop and retain talent from all backgrounds and experiences, Fremantle has invested in partnerships with specialist organisations dedicated to addressing under-representation in the creative industries. For example, Fremantle continued its partnership with The TV Collective on the Breakthrough Leaders programme in the UK, supporting 150 black, Asian and minority-ethnic future leaders. In Sweden, Fremantle’s leadership team is participating in an external mentoring programme, All of Us, for young people of colour in the creative industries and supporting the WomenUp programme – which consists of 40 women and their mentors – to address the female leadership gap. In the US, a partnership with Fresh Films supports 400 young people from under-represented backgrounds based in 27 national locations nationwide.

Inclusive casting and storylines across Fremantle shows continued to provide a platform for different voices and perspectives, influence authentic storytelling, and promote empathy and understanding. The series Sam – A Saxon, from Fremantle label Big Window Productions, launched on Disney+ and was recommended by the German Federal Government to be included in the school’s national curriculum. The creative team also embarked on a global educational tour across several US states, London and Berlin, hosted by some of the world’s leading academic and cultural institutions to help highlight the positive impact the series has had on the Afro-German and Black communities. In October 2023, the release of the Italian drama film C'è ancora domani (There's Still Tomorrow) achieved over five million admissions, leading the box office yearly results for an Italian film. The film, which is set in Rome during the aftermath of World War II, deals with issues related to domestic violence, patriarchy and feminism. Alongside its commercial success, C'è ancora domani has also become important in the education of students across Italy. Italian cinemas screened the film to students across the country, and the government requested that schools dedicate time and resources to the topic of domestic violence.

The Fremantle series Fellow Travelers – a love story and political thriller about two men who meet during the McCarthy era, when being gay meant being in danger – pays tribute to the history of the LGBTIQ+ community and received lots of media attention. Launched in 2023, the series highlights the importance of striving for a more inclusive society. It received two Golden Globe nominations in 2024 and won the Critics’ Choice Award for ‘Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television’ for Jonathan Bailey.


As a leading media organisation and broadcaster, RTL Group has social responsibilities towards the communities and audiences it serves. These responsibilities are particularly important when it comes to children and young people. The Group complies fully with child-protection laws and ensures its programming is suitable for children – or broadcast when they are unlikely to be watching. RTL Group also strives to give back to its communities by using its profile to raise awareness of, and funds for, important social issues, particularly those that might otherwise receive less coverage or funding.

As part of this support, the Group provides free airtime worth several million Euro to charities and non-profit organisations to help them raise awareness of their causes, as well as donating significant amounts of money to numerous charitable initiatives and foundations. RTL Group’s flagship fundraising events (RTL-Spendenmarathon/Stiftung RTL in Germany and Télévie in Luxembourg) raised €23.3 million for charity in 2023 (2022: €46.0 million, driven by an additional fundraising campaign from Stiftung RTL in Germany for Ukrainian children and families after Russia’s attack on Ukraine in February 2022).

Intellectual property and copyright

RTL Group’s primary mission is to invest in high-quality entertainment programmes, fiction, drama, news and sports, and to attract new creative talent to help the Group contribute to a vibrant, creative, innovative and diverse media landscape. Strong intellectual property rights are the foundation of RTL Group’s business, and that of creators and rights-holders.

RTL Group’s Code of Conduct and an Information Security Policy set a high standard for the protection of intellectual property. All employees are expected to comply with copyright laws and licensing agreements and to put in place appropriate security practices (password protection, approved technology and licensed software) to protect intellectual property. Sharing, downloading or exchanging copyrighted files without appropriate permission is prohibited. Violations can be reported to the Compliance department via its reporting channels, which include a user-friendly speak-up system.

Anti-corruption and anti-bribery

The foundation for sustainable business success is built on integrity and trustworthiness, and RTL Group has zero tolerance for any form of illegal or unethical conduct. Violating laws and regulations – including those relating to bribery and corruption – is not consistent with RTL Group’s values and could damage the Group. Non-compliance could harm the Group’s reputation, result in significant fines, endanger its business success and expose its people to criminal or civil prosecution.

The Compliance department provides Group-wide support on anti-corruption, anti-bribery and other compliance-related matters. In addition to centralised management by the Compliance department, each business unit has a Compliance Responsible in charge of addressing compliance issues, including anti-corruption.

For information about RTL Group’s Audit Committee see page 89.

Representatives of RTL Group management sit on the RTL Group Corporate Compliance Committee. The committee, which is chaired by RTL Group’s Chief Financial Officer, is responsible for monitoring compliance activities, promoting ethical conduct and fighting corruption and bribery. It is kept informed about ongoing compliance cases and the measures taken to prevent compliance violations.

The RTL Group Anti-Corruption and Integrity Policy is the Group’s principal policy for fighting corruption. It outlines rules and procedures for conducting business in accordance with anti-corruption laws and Group principles.

RTL Group’s policies, including anti-corruption and integrity, anti-trust and compliance organisation, were updated and streamlined in 2022. The policies are split into ten categories, with a Business Process Owner for each category, who is the main contact for any questions regarding the respective policy.

Human rights

Respect for human rights is a vital part of RTL Group’s Code of Conduct, which includes a decision-making guide that clarifies how to comply with the company’s standards in case of doubt. The Group’s commitment to responsible and ethical business practices extends to its business partners. In 2017, RTL Group established the RTL Group Business Partner Principles, which sets minimum standards for responsible business relationships. In 2023, RTL Group’s Executive Committee adopted RTL Group’s Supplier Code of Conduct, that will be rolled out and will replace the Business Partner Principles in 2024. To cover all centrally important aspects of human rights in one place, RTL Group published a specific Human Rights statement in 2022. The statement explicitly refers to the standards of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations’ Global Compact and applies to the entire Group. To report suspected human-rights violations or unethical practices, employees and third parties can contact RTL Group’s compliance reporting channels (directly or through a web-based reporting platform) or an independent ombudsperson. In all cases, they may do so anonymously.


RTL Group is a media company with no industrial operations and therefore does not consume significant amounts of raw materials or fossil fuel and is not a major polluter. The Group is mindful that resource conservation and climate protection are key challenges for the 21st century. For this reason – together with employees and stakeholders – RTL Group is committed to minimising its impact on the environment, by reducing its energy use and its direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It codified this commitment in February 2018 by issuing its Environmental Statement.

RTL Group has measured and published its carbon footprint since 2008. Serving as the key indicator for evaluating and continually improving the Group’s climate performance, it was formerly calculated based on each country’s average energy mix. To improve data quality, since 2017 it has been calculated based on the emissions associated with the Group’s individual electricity supply contracts. This new, more detailed baseline takes into account hotel stays, refrigerant losses, commuting, IT devices and own and commissioned productions, as well as electricity consumption, paper, business travel, water and wastewater.

RTL Group decided to become carbon neutral by 2030, including both company-related emissions (scope 1 and 2) and emissions from the production of its programmes and products (scope 3). The goal is to reduce the Group’s total emissions by more than 50 per cent compared to the 2018 baseline. As of 2030, RTL Group will offset all remaining emissions.

The 2018 baseline is the basis against which RTL Group measures progress and target achievements. This basis includes site- and employee-related emissions (scope 1 and 2) and indirect carbon dioxide emissions from video production (scope 3). Compared to the base year 2018, RTL Group has reduced its total emissions by 28 per cent, from 247,900 tCO2 in 2018 to 178,900 tCO2 in 2022. Representing almost 80 per cent of the Group’s total emissions, indirect emissions from video production (scope 3) make up the largest share and are therefore the greatest lever for achieving the Group’s goal. RTL Group will focus on reducing these emissions in the future, particularly in the area of green productions.

Due to the lack of data and the complexity of TV and film productions, carbon data for video productions for corporate reporting purposes are currently calculated based on genre benchmarks derived from the UK carbon calculator Albert. RTL Group will introduce a new Group-wide policy to base its future reporting of emissions from video productions mainly on activity data.

To reduce carbon emissions, RTL Deutschland has been striving for more sustainable TV productions since 2020. Since mid-2022, minimum ecological standards adopted throughout the industry by broadcasters and production companies in Germany have been applied to selected productions. RTL Deutschland aims to produce 50 per cent of its fictional content according to those standards. These standards are used to strive for environmentally and resource-friendly production methods. In 2023, 20 productions meeting those standards were produced. One series, that was also certified with the green motion label, was Pumuckl’s New Adventures. On average, around 50 per cent of emissions were saved (compared to a genre-specific baseline) across 20 productions. RTL Deutschland plans to produce 50 productions meeting those standards in 20241. With the acquisition of Gruner+Jahr in 2022, the carbon footprint of print products also plays an important role. By setting up a ‘Green Productions Print’ committee, RTL Deutschland is now working on a structured approach to decrease the product carbon footprint of its magazines.

In France, Top Chef, which has been broadcast on Groupe M6’s channels since 2010, was the first prime-time entertainment programme in France to receive an Ecoprod Label in 2023. The label is an important recognition of the work and commitment towards sustainable production practices of Studio 89, a subsidiary of Groupe M6. In February 2023, the channels and platforms of Groupe M6 raised awareness of climate change issues during the campaign week ‘Semaine Green’ (Green Week), offering a wide range of news and entertainment programmes focusing on topics such as waste, housing, biodiversity and responsible consumption.

In February 2023, Ufa, a German production company owned by Fremantle, won the Eisvogel prize for Sustainable Film Production with its series Irgendwas mit Medien – a prize introduced by the German Federal Government to promote more sustainable productions of audiovisual content. In May 2023, the daily series Unter uns was the second Ufa production to earn a green motion label from the Green Shooting working group. Some of the green measures implemented by Ufa include the use of electric cars, generators powered by green electricity, digital instead of printed filming plans, and reusable and recyclable materials. The company has not used plastic bottles on set since 2017 and switched to green electricity for productions in 2020. Unter uns is Germany‘s second-longest-running daily soap opera and the first daily series to be awarded a green motion label.

In May 2023, The Farm, produced by Fremantle-owned Strix in Norway, won the Best Sustainable Production Award at the Inaugural Global Production Awards in Cannes.

For RTL Group’s environmental indicators according to GRI standards, please visit rtl.com.

1 The ‘Green Shooting’ working group, founded and led by MFG Filmförderung in 2017, is working on the transformation towards a more ecologically sustainable production method. The working group includes the production companies Bavaria Fiction, Constantin, Ufa, We Are Era and Ziegler Film, the broadcasters ARD, RTL Deutschland, ProSiebenSat1, Sky, SWR and ZDF, the streaming services Disney+ and Netflix and further industry associations.


Innovation at RTL Group focuses on three core topics: continuously developing new, high-quality TV formats; using all digital distribution channels; and better monetisation of the Group’s audience reach using personalisation, recommendations and the addressing of target groups increasingly via artificial intelligence (AI).

In December 2023, Groupe M6 launched the new adventure reality format Destination X on M6 in France. In addition to the new format, which originates from Belgium, Groupe M6 has also launched a digital interactive platform on 6play.fr and the 6play app to allow audiences to actively participate in the adventure. UFA Serial Drama, part of Fremantle, produced Der kleine Unter uns Weihnachtsfilm (The little ‘Among us’ Christmas film) with the help of AI for content, language and visualisations. In the short film, AI was used to create a storyline inspired by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

In August 2023, RTL Deutschland launched Germany’s first all-inclusive entertainment app. Comprising video, music, podcasts, radio, audiobooks and digital magazines, RTL+ is a unique selling proposition in the German-speaking market. The service’s innovative recommendation algorithm, based on intelligent text, audio and video analysis, ensures that users are offered personalised content suggestions across all media types. RTL Deutschland is also investing in its publishing business, in particular the development of digital paid offer Stern+.

Another innovative focus point is addressable TV advertising, which combines the broad reach of linear TV with targeted digital advertising. RTL Group continuously develops its advertising technologies or acquires the necessary technology in this area. RTL Group’s European ad-tech business Smartclip has launched technology to substitute the advertising breaks in linear TV streams with addressable TV (ATV) advertising, while ensuring an uninterrupted viewing experience for the audience. This innovative technology was first implemented on RTL Up, and since May 2023, the ad replacement technology in the linear TV stream is available for programmatic buying on the German market. In addition, Smartclip's French subsidiary Realytics has introduced BEE (Brand Exposure Engagement) in April 2023. BEE measures and compares spot exposure from the first second across all major distribution channels (linear TV, ATV and CTV). The tool also detects duplicates and avoids measuring the same household as an individual contact – even if the household is addressed on both linear and digital channels.

The Group’s advertising sales houses continue to introduce innovative and award-winning advertising formats. In Germany, Ad Alliance launched CrossOver Evolution – a large-scale innovation project in the area of cross-channel marketing. With the xMedia spot launched in May 2023, advertisers in Germany can book spots for ATV, connected TV (CTV), desktop, tablets and smartphones in one place. The new product bundles the entire video inventory of Ad Alliance’s portfolio, while reducing the complexity of booking and managing ads. In addition, Ad Alliance is increasingly using artificial intelligence (AI) technology internally to increase the efficiency of its pricing processes. Externally, AI is used in multi-award-winning video tagging to play ads with exactly the right message or at the right emotional moment. In France, M6 Publicité, the advertising sales house from Groupe M6, has developed 6scan range – an engaging and immersive advertising solution based on the QR code. A QR code is added to the advertiser’s TV advert, providing viewers with additional information or a call-to-action – such as an augmented reality projection, or the opportunity to interact with chatbots.

AI was a significant driver in RTL Group’s innovative projects in 2023. In July 2023, RTL Deutschland bundled its various AI activities together in a newly founded AI Circle. The group focuses on five strategically relevant value levers: strengthening content, optimising advertising sales, engagement and discovery, increasing efficiency, and risk minimisation and innovation. In 2023, AI was applied prominently in the production of a new series based on the classic German children's series Pumuckl. The original voice of the red-haired goblin, Hans Clarin (who died in 2005), was recreated using AI for the series Pumuckl’s New Adventures. AI technology has also been used by RTL News to develop synthetic voices, making it possible to transform written text into natural-sounding speech. In France, Groupe M6 has embarked on a 24/7 transcription initiative for its radio content. Transforming audio content into text enables the team to create more content, easily edit it in the CMS, and generate new editorial products, summaries, metadata, tags and even legal reports. The transcription initiative not only streamlines the content creation process, but also paves the way for more dynamic and diversified digital content offerings in the near future. Fremantle is also increasingly relying on AI, for example with upscaling old video from the 70s-80s by using AI to interpolate the pixels. Fremantle also uses graphics generation tools like Midjourney or Dall-E to create pitch documents and reimage creative ideas.

Significant litigations

Provisions for litigations correspond to the Group’s best estimate of the expected future cash outflow related to disputes arising from the Group’s activities (see notes 6.5.2 and 6.14.1 to the consolidated financial statements in the RTL Group Annual Report 2023).

RTL Group is party to legal proceedings in the normal course of its business, both as defendant and claimant. The main legal proceedings to which RTL Group is a party are disclosed below.

Several subsidiaries of RTL Group are being sued by the broadcaster RTL 2 Fernsehen GmbH & Co KG and its sales house, El Cartel Media GmbH & Co KG, before the regional court in Düsseldorf, Germany, seeking disclosure of information to substantiate a possible claim for damages. The proceedings follow the imposition of a fine in 2007 by the German Federal Cartel Office for abuse of market dominance with regard to discount scheme agreements (share deals) granted by Ad Alliance GmbH (formerly IP Deutschland GmbH) and SevenOne Media GmbH to media agencies. The German Federal Cartel Office argued that these discounts would foreclose small broadcasters from the advertising market. In 2014, the regional court of Düsseldorf decided to order an expert report. The expert concluded in February 2018 that the likelihood of damages cannot be proven with certainty. In July 2018, RTL 2 Fernsehen GmbH & Co KG filed a motion claiming that the expert was not impartial, with the aim of getting the court to obtain a new expert opinion. Ad Alliance GmbH has rejected the motion of lack of impartiality as unfounded. Due to his unexpected death in February 2020, the court expert could not submit his response to the allegation of impartiality. On 4 September 2023, the regional court rendered two decisions: First, it rejected the allegation of the expert’s impartiality. Second, it dismissed the claims for disclosure of information in their entirety. On 16 October 2023, RTL 2 Fernsehen GmbH & Co KG and El Cartel Media appealed the regional court’s decisions. The case will now continue before the Düsseldorf Appeal Court. A hearing has been scheduled for September 2024. Similar proceedings from other small broadcasters, initiated in different courts, were unsuccessful or have been withdrawn.

In June 2016, the main competitors of Fun Radio alleged that a host of the morning show had influenced Fun Radio’s results by encouraging his listeners to give favourable treatment to Fun Radio in the Médiamétrie surveys. In response to these allegations, Médiamétrie decided to remove Fun Radio from its surveys. Following a legal procedure initiated by Fun Radio, Médiamétrie was required to reinstate Fun Radio in the audience results surveys as of September 2016. Nevertheless, Médiamétrie decided to lower Fun Radio’s audience results in its published surveys, alleging the existence of a ‘halo effect’. Following a procedure initiated by Fun Radio, a judicial expert was appointed in December 2017 to examine Médiamétrie’s assessment of the alleged ‘halo effect’. In September 2019, the judicial expert issued his final report which confirmed the ‘halo effect’ but assessed that Fun Radio’s results were over-corrected. As of September 2017, Médiamétrie has again published the full audience results for Fun Radio. In parallel to the above procedure, the main competitors of Fun Radio also filed, in December 2016, a claim for damages, before the Paris Commercial Court claiming unfair competition, but this procedure was suspended until the end of the judicial expertise. In the meantime, four of the six claimants withdrew their claim from the proceedings. On 23 January 2023, the Paris Commercial Court decided to award damages for unfair competition. Fun Radio appealed the Court’s decision on 26 January 2023 and is confident to achieve a favourable decision before the Court of appeal.

In November 2019, the Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) arrived at a decision in disciplinary proceedings imposing a fine on Atresmedia and Mediaset and barring both operators from specified courses of conduct. The parties were ordered to take steps to align their commercial and contractual relations to the requirements of the decision. The fine imposed on Atresmedia amounts to €38.2 million. In 2020, Atresmedia challenged the decision by filing an application for judicial review with the Administrative Chamber of the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s national court. The application was found admissible. Consequently, Atresmedia will proceed with an appeal in the aforementioned court. The directors and legal advisors of Atresmedia believe that the application for judicial review against the CNMC’s decision is likely to succeed.

No further information is disclosed as it may harm the Group’s position.