Donnerstag, 04.06.2020 09:44 Uhr

European media join forces for European cultural identity

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 31.05.2019, 10:25 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Wirtschaft und Finanzen +++ Bericht 7978x gelesen

Rome [ENA] The Italian media group Mediaset announced on 29th May that it has acquired 9.6 percent of the shares of the German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 Media. Mediaset paid $380M for the stake. The company of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is now the second largest shareholder, with voting rights up to 9.9% of the voting capital, just behind a US fund, Crosslantic Fund I.

Mediaset thus became the first partner of ProSiebenSat.1 Media, one of the largest television groups in Europe with a leadership position in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The acquisition by Mediaset is part of a comprehensive, integrated plan of a free pan-European broadcaster. Rumors about entry of the Mediaset Group have been around for a long time. When asked, ProSiebenSat.1 Media CEO Conze said in early May that he didn’t see any industrial logic in a combination of Mediaset and Pro Seven Sat 1. But the Italians had a different opinion. Pier Silvio Berlusconi, head of Mediaset and son of the politician Silvio Berlusconi, thinks that the rapid globalization process, which determines the international environment,

requires European media companies to join forces. Mediaset acquired most of the shares this week and the timing was favorable: in over a one-year period, equities lost a good 40 percent. When the news of Mediaset's entry on Wednesday morning became known, the price initially jumped five percent. Pro-Seven boss Conze made an immediate effort on Wednesday to welcome the new shareholder. The two companies seem to face the same challenge: advertisers are spending more and more money on advertising in US corporations, most notably Facebook and Google. Amazon is increasingly becoming a competitor in the fight for budgets. In addition, young people in particular more and more watch TV series and films at Netflix.

Pier Silvio Berlusconi wants to be in competition with that. Transnational alliances are crucial to continue to protect the European cultural identity in competition with global heavyweights or even to resist any possible attack. So far, Mediaset has been only active in Spain. It will not be easy to forge a Europe-wide alliance. CEO Conze knows that very well. Pro Sieben Sat 1 tried this at the beginning of the decade with broadcasters in Benelux, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, always without success. In the TV business, ProSiebenSat.1 Media is now concentrating exclusively on German-speaking countries. Only the television production of the group is completely international.

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