RTL Group reports strong revenue growth and 5.5 million paying streaming subscribers

Luxembourg, 16 March 2023 – RTL Group announces its audited results for the year ended 31 December 2022.

Strong revenue growth, Adjusted EBITA in line with outlook guidance despite challenging macroeconomic conditions and higher streaming start-up losses

CEO's quote

2022 was a strong year for RTL Group, although we faced an unprecedented number of external challenges.”

Thomas Rabe, Chief Executive Officer of RTL Group, says:

“2022 was a strong year for RTL Group, although we faced an unprecedented number of external challenges. Revenue reached €7.2 billion, representing the highest revenue in the company’s history. With our families of TV channels in Germany, France and the Netherlands continuing to generate high operating profits, and our global content business Fremantle reporting record results, our Adjusted EBITA before streaming start-up losses remained stable, on the same record level as last year.

RTL Group’s growth businesses streaming and content progressed significantly in 2022, with 5.5 million paying subscribers for RTL+ and Videoland, and over 100 drama productions from Fremantle. We are on course to reach our ambitious streaming targets, and Fremantle is on track to becoming a €3 billion company by 2025.

RTL Group demonstrates high earnings, cost discipline and significant investments in content, streaming, tech and data. This enables us to pay a high dividend of €4.00 per share to our shareholders, including €0.50 relating to the disposals of RTL Belgium and RTL Croatia.”


Strengthening RTL Group’s core

On 1 January 2022, RTL Deutschland fully acquired Gruner + Jahr’s (G+J) German publishing assets and brands for the final purchase price of €228 million.8 In February 2023, RTL Deutschland announced a reorganisation of its publishing business to focus on its core brands Stern, Geo, Capital, Stern Crime, Brigitte, Gala, Schöner Wohnen, Häuser, Couch, Eltern, Chefkoch, Geolino and Geolino Mini, which account for around 70 per cent of its publishing revenue. Other brands will be sold or discontinued. RTL Deutschland will invest €80 million in its publishing business by 2025, €30 million thereof in the expansion of the paid offer Stern+. The potential synergies of the transaction (Adjusted EBITA run-rate impact) are estimated at around €75 million per year, to be fully realised by 2025 (previous guidance before reorganisation: €100 million per year).

On 31 March 2022, RTL Group closed the sale of RTL Belgium to the Belgian media companies DPG Media and Groupe Rossel, which resulted in net cash inflows of €154 million. On 1 June 2022, RTL Group completed the sale of RTL Croatia to Central European Media Enterprises (CME) for €41 million net of cash disposed.

RTL Group continues to invest significantly in content across all genres. Investments in rights for live sports events strengthen its linear TV channels and play an important role in gaining new subscribers for its streaming services by attracting male audiences and enhancing news and magazine formats.

Next to local, exclusive content and sports rights, RTL Group invests in internationally popular TV and film formats:

Boosting growth businesses – Streaming

At the end of 2022, RTL Group registered 5.488 million paying subscribers for its streaming services RTL+ in Germany and Hungary, and Videoland in the Netherlands, up 44.3 per cent year-on-year (31 December 2021: 3.804 million).

RTL Deutschland is gradually expanding its cross-media offer. In August 2022, it launched the RTL+ Musik app. In addition to video content, this gives RTL+ users access to more than 90 million songs and more than 100 radio streams. RTL+ entered an exclusive partnership with Deezer, one of the world’s leading music streaming services. In November 2022, podcasts were added to the RTL+ Musik app, followed by a growing selection of audiobooks in December 2022.

In November 2022, RTL Hungary launched its streaming service RTL+. Offering exclusive local content, the new service – which is based on the technology of Bedrock, RTL Group’s streaming tech company – is a unique feature in the Hungarian streaming landscape. The previous services, RTL Most and RTL Most+, were integrated into RTL+ under the packages RTL+ Light and RTL+ Active. Therefore, RTL+ has three models: a direct-to-consumer subscription model without advertising, a TV subscription model (for example via an IPTV subscription), and a registration-based advertising-funded model.

Boosting growth businesses – Fremantle

Fremantle, RTL Group’s global content business, targets full-year revenue of €3 billion by 2025. To reach this goal and keep up with the increasing demand for content, RTL Group is investing significantly in Fremantle in all territories, across all three content pillars – drama and film, entertainment and documentaries.

Within its entertainment business, Fremantle scored successes with America’s Got Talent, the quiz show Password and various adaptations of Farmer Wants a Wife. Within drama and film, the delivery of the second season of The Mosquito Coast to Apple TV+ was a huge success while Fremantle’s film business continued to grow, with 17 films delivered in 2022 (2021: seven).

In March 2022, Fremantle signed a three-year international filmmaking agreement with Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie. In February 2023, Fremantle signed a two-year partnership with Edward Berger, the director of All Quiet on the Western Front. Within its documentary business, Fremantle successfully launched the documentary Planet Sex with Cara Delevingne.

In 2022, Fremantle completed eight transactions:

In March 2022, Fremantle acquired 70 per cent of the shareholding in the leading Italian independent television production company Lux Vide. Successful series from the production company include Medici for Netflix, Leonardo for Amazon Prime, Devils for Sky, The Bible Collection – sold in 144 countries, Don Matteo – now in its 13th season and DOC – the medical drama that’s rapidly becoming Rai’s highest-rated series in 15 years. In the same month, Fremantle acquired a 25 per cent stake in Fabel Entertainment, known for the series Bosch.

In April 2022, Fremantle increased its stake in Dancing Ledge Productions from 25 per cent to 61 per cent. The UK-based production company is behind drama series such as The Responder and The Salisbury Poisonings.

In May 2022, Fremantle acquired 51 per cent of Element Pictures, the production company behind Academy Award, Golden Globe and BAFTA-winning films The Favourite and Room, the global drama Normal People, and the mini-series Conversations With Friends.

In June 2022, Fremantle increased its ownership in the US/Australian production company Eureka to 100 per cent, having already acquired a majority stake in 2021.

In November 2022, Fremantle acquired a 55 per cent stake in 72 Films, the TV production company behind the sports documentary All or Nothing: Arsenal and 9/11: One Day in America. In the same month, Fremantle acquired a 51 per cent stake in Wildstar Films, a production company focused on natural history documentaries and responsible for successful films and series such as America the Beautiful and Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory. This was followed by the acquisition of a 51 per cent stake in Silvio Productions, a production company behind documentary series such as Shadow of Truth.

Fostering alliances and partnerships

In February 2022, RTL Group announced its decision to combine its fully owned businesses RTL AdConnect, G+J iMS and the media division of Smartclip to create an international advertising sales champion called RTL Ad Alliance. RTL Ad Alliance will provide international advertisers with simplified access to a unique portfolio of media brands across TV, digital video, radio/audio, online, mobile and print.

In May 2022, RTL Group’s European ad-tech business, Smartclip9, fully acquired the French ad-tech company Realytics. The acquisition complements RTL Group’s ad-tech stack: Realytics systematically analyses the impact of TV advertising on advertiser websites and ensures data availability for digital ad decisioning.

In November 2022, Bedrock successfully migrated more than one million subscribers of Videoland to a more advanced version of the service with more features, stronger personalisation, better data management and editorial tools. This represented the largest streaming migration in Europe to date.


The geopolitical and macroeconomic environment remains volatile and the impact on RTL Group’s businesses is hard to predict.

On this basis and subject to the above:






€7.3bn to €7.4bn

Adjusted EBITA


€1.0bn to €1.05bn

Streaming start-up losses


Just below €0.2bn

Adjusted EBITA before
streaming start-up losses


€1.2bn to €1.25bn

Strategic targets for RTL Group’s streaming services10




Paying subscribers



Streaming revenue



Content spend per annum



Profitability is expected by 202611.

Fremantle: revenue target

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

To reach this goal and keep up with the increasing demand for content, RTL Group will invest significantly in Fremantle – both organically and via acquisitions – in all territories across drama and film, entertainment and factual shows and documentaries.

Financial review




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All documents on the full-year results 2022 are available to download at https://company.rtl.com/en/RTL-Group-full-year-results-2022/

1 Adjusted for portfolio changes and at constant exchange rates. Further details can be found in Key performance indicators on page 25 of RTL Group’s Full-year results 2022 report

2 Streaming revenue includes SVOD, TVOD, in-stream and distribution revenue from RTL+ in Germany, RTL+ in Hungary (including RTL+/RTL+ Active/RTL+ Light) and Videoland/RTL XL in the Netherlands

3 Revenue generated across all distribution platforms (cable, satellite, internet TV) including subscription and re-transmission fees

4 See Key performance indicators on pages 25 to 26 of RTL Group’s Full-year results 2022 report

5 Operating cash conversion rate reflects the level of operating profits converted into cash. Further details can be found in Key performance indicators on page 27 of RTL Group’s Full-year results 2022 report

6 Net cash/(debt) excludes current and non-current lease liabilities. Including these, net cash as of 31 December 2022 was €-205 million (31 December 2021: net cash of €325 million). See Key performance indicators on page 28 of RTL Group’s Full-year results 2022 report

7 Frankfurt Stock Exchange

8 €210 million was already paid in 2021. The following Gruner + Jahr assets are not part of the transaction and will remain with Bertelsmann: DDV Mediengruppe (Sächsische Zeitung), Territory, AppLike Group and G+J’s 25 per cent shareholding in Spiegel Gruppe; on 1 April 2022 RTL Deutschland also fully acquired 50 per cent of Deutsche Medien-Manufaktur (DMM)

9 Smartclip is part of RTL Deutschland

10 RTL+ in Germany and Hungary and Videoland in the Netherlands

11 Total of Adjusted EBITA from RTL+, Videoland/RTL XL, Salto and Bedrock as consolidated on RTL Group level. The Adjusted EBITA of RTL+ in Germany and Hungary and Videoland/RTL XL in the Netherlands includes synergies with TV channels at business unit level. For the definition of Adjusted EBITA please see Key performance indicators on pages 25 to 26 of RTL Group’s Full-year results 2022 report