German TV Market: A Season in Numbers

Marcel Kaupp AKA Marcella Rockafella in Supertalent finale

Fall's most influential formats and their market positions. Ranging from 'Got Talent' to 'Shark Tank'.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Germany is the biggest TV advertising market in Europe and its influence on European broadcasters is significant. Most watched German channels RTL, ProSieben, Sat.1 and Vox have introduced new formats and new seasons of established shows last fall. picks some of the most relevant and summarizes their ratings.

FremantleMedia's 'Got Talent' ('Das Supertalent') was watched by 4.42 million viewers (3+) last season and achieved 20.1% average share in RTL's ad-relevant demo 14-59. The show declined year-over-year and Season 8 finale was the weakest ever (4.21 mil. in 3+ and 18.2% share in 14-59 compared with 4.44 mil. in 3+ and 19.9% share in 14-59 in 2013) but 'Got Talent' still gets better numbers than the home channel RTL. Show's 20.1% average share in the demo is 7.4 points better than RTL in 2014.

'Got Talent' shares in 14-59:

Keshet International's 'Rising Star' failed in Germany. RTL launched it in August, hoping to create bridge before the start of 'Got Talent' and fill Thursday and Saturday prime time. First episode hit low 11.9% share in 14-59 demo (full review here), numbers didn't get any better in later days and RTL decided to cut the airing of episodes and finished the show two weeks ahead of the plan. Last episode got only 8.7% share in the demo.

Warner Bros. International Television Production's 'Adam Looking For Eve' ('Adam sucht Eva - Gestrandet im Paradies') was affected by poor lead-in. RTL created new Thursday line-up with 'Rising Star' at 8 PM and 'Adam Looking For Eve' at 10:20, but 'Rising Star' didn't work well.

Episode 1 of 'Adam Looking For Eve' maintained 85% of 'Rising Star's viewers in 14-59, grabbing 1.51 million young viewers aged 14-59 and 12.7% share. Four weeks later only 1.33 million remained (10.6% share).

It neither failed nor shined on RTL, numbers would probably be better with stronger lead-in. The show worked better in younger target groups with most successful episodes reaching over 15% share in TG 14-49.

FremantleMedia's 'Farmer Wants a Wife' ('Bauer sucht Frau') was a strong performer on Monday nights, averaging 19.9% share in 14-59 target group (6.25 mil. viewers in 3+) for the fall 2014 season. The format celebrates 10th anniversary on RTL.

FremantleMedia's 'Heaven or Hell' ('Himmel oder Hölle') ended with mixed results. While the first summer episode was watched by 1.93 million viewers (3+) and achieved strong 16.0% share in ProSieben's 14-49 demo, it failed in the fall. Second episode, set against strong 'Got Talent' on October 18, fell to 0.75 million in 3+ and 5.3% share in the demo. Germany is a home of this "heaven quiz"; FremantleMedia has launched international format sale at MIPCOM 2014.

Banijay International's 'Beat Your Host' ('Schlag den Raab') is still a good bet for ProSieben - combination of a big studio and Stefan Raab works even after 8 years. Last fall there were three instalments of 'Beat Your Host', each of them became most watched show in 14-49 of the respective day in Germany. Shares ranged from 21.7 to 22.9 % while ProSieben's 2014 average was 11.0% (the show is approximately 4 hours long so shares benefit from late ending). Last episode aired on December 20 against 'Got Talent' season finale on RTL and won in 14-49 demo (2 mil. vs. 1.92 mil. for 'Got Talent').

Talpa's 'The Voice' ('The Voice of Germany') concluded 4th season in Germany with less viewers in the finale than in 2013. But the show is still a strong performer for both ProSieben and Sat.1 as they share episodes. Most of the episodes crossed 20% share in 14-49 demo. German version proves that first episodes (blind auditions) are stronger than Battle, K.O. and live phase.

Red Arrow International's 'The Taste' had fluctuating shares in season 2, frequently affected by strong UEFA football matches, making it difficult to say whether it was a successful season. Here are the shares in 14-49:

Talpa's 'What do I Know?!' ('Was weiß ich!?') may have succeeded in Slovakia, but it didn't repeat the success in Germany. Sat.1 tried the interactive app-suported game show in September on Wednesdays, 8:15 PM. First episode attracted 1.72 million viewers (3+) and gained 7.1% share in 14-49 target group, second episode declined to 5.8% share and then Sat.1 pulled it off the schedule.

Sony Pictures Television's 'Shark Tank AKA Dragons' Den' ('Die Höhle der Löwen') was launched in August on Vox as an opener for Tuesday prime time at 8 PM. German adaptation started with 8.2% share in 14-59 target group, maintained similar numbers for the rest of the fall and surpassed Vox's 6.7% market share in 2014. The show was renewed for second season scheduled for 2015. Shares in 14-59:

All data: AGF/GfK. Sources: Press releases and official rating reports of broadcasters. Please note that we work with two different target groups - 14-59 for RTL and Vox and 14-49 for ProSieben and Sat.1 as RTL Group switched to 14-59 in March 2013.