Romanian ad market faces steep decline

By Iulia Blaga

    The Romanian TV ad market is predicted to drop by as much as €55 million in 2009.

    Romanian public TV (www.tvr.ro) reports €19.5 million advertising income in 2008, down 13% from 2007. The TVR portfolio of advertising markets is comprised of TVR1, TVR2, TVR Cultural, TVR Internaţional, TVR3, its website and teletext.

    TVR Cultural was the only station whose income rose in 2008, by 54% (from a modest €86,383 in 2007 to €133,040 in 2008). The biggest net advertising income was obtained by TVR 1, €16 million, down €2.25 million from 2007.

    Public television ended 2008 with €14.6 million deficiency, while the turnover grew by 5.8%.

    The deficiency is partially explained by the difficulty of collecting the TV tax, as well as the obligation to contribute 15% of advertising income to the Cinema Fund. This contribution was €2.8 million in 2008 (10,394,503 lei).

    While the 2008 TV ad market on TV was only €335 million, Octav Comănescu, managing director of media agency Initiative Media, estimated for HotNews.ro that in 2009 it will be under €280 million.

    The public broadcasting service (http://www.srr.ro/) announced that in the first three months of 2009, it sold €130,000 in advertising, compared to almost €1 million obtained in the last trimester of 2008.

    The daily newspaper Adevărul states that the public broadcasting service finished 2008 with €65,000 profit.

    The public broadcasting service, Radiodifuziunea Română, comprises the following stations: România Actualităţi, România Cultural, România Muzical, Antena Satelor, Radio 3Net, România Internaţional, and România Regional.