Traditional TV remains the leader in terms of revenues. But at the gates of the castle the streaming giants are knocking harder and harder. Maybe something will change over time (or maybe not). The fact is that the numbers signal an assault on the fort of Rai, Sky and Mediaset which continues, incessantly, led by a Netflix which in Italy, writes the Mediobanca Studies Area in its Media & Entertainment Report, with an analysis of the sector at world and Italian, can «count almost 5 million subscribers in 2022 (+50% compared to 2019). For a turnover estimated at around 550 million (+35% on 2020 and +70% compared to 2019) which should rise to 600 million in 2022″.
A concentrated TV market
In Italy the market is very concentrated with the top three television operators (Rai, Sky and Mediaset) developing over 80% of the overall turnover. In terms of turnover (in this case the data refer to 2021) Rai stands in first position with 2.7 billion euros (+6.7% on 2020), followed by Sky (2.5 billion; -10, 4% on 2020) and Mediaset (2 billion; +11.7%).
On the profitability side, the aggregate EBIT margin “continues to worsen”: falling to -5.2% in 2021 and -6.1 percentage points compared to 2019. Paramount goes against the trend (+9.7 percentage points between 2019 and 2021) ; Walt Disney (+5.8 points); Mediaset (+5) and Rai (0.9). Negative Ebit margin for La7 (-3.8%) and Sky (-30.3%) which «mainly affected by the
lower revenues from subscriptions and advertising, as well as the investment made to launch the Sky Wifi offer, the new broadband business».
The pay TV crisis
In general, considering the entire Italian radio and television sector, the turnover, equal to 8.5 billion in 2021, is still lower than the 8.7 billion in 2019 (-2.6%), but up by 4.6 % on 2020 (8.1 billion). Divided as follows: +9.7% free-to-air TV (4.8 billion); -3.6% pay TV (3.1 billion) and +11.2% radio (600 million). Pay TV is affected by diametrically opposite trends, with traditional Pay TV declining (-14.9%) and streaming growing by double digits (+32%). All this amounts to a sharp increase in the specific weight of this latter market segment, with streaming now developing 32.3% (more than double compared to 2019) of the total revenues of pay-TV.
Estimates for 2022 are down
For the whole of 2022, a 4% drop in the total revenues of the main Italian operators in the sector is estimated, by virtue of the further contraction of traditional Pay TV and the slowdown in advertising sales (which should close the year with a -5% ), again offset by the growth of streaming. In this context, write the Mediobanca analysts, however, “it is however necessary that Italy continues to bridge the existing gap with the main European countries as regards the diffusion of VHCN networks (Very High Capacity Networks)”.