Leading French broadcaster TF1 - which recently reported a 57.8% jump in its net revenues for 2000 - has acquired Canal Plus' and Havas Images' stake in the Eurosport group, which it now owns 100%.
Eurosport, which reaches 92 million households and is available in 54 countries and 17 different languages worldwide, has been profitable since 1996 and reported revenues of Euros242m in 2000.
The move was prompted by the Vivendi-Seagram-Canal Plus merger. TF1, which had already acquired ESPN's participation in Eurosport, along with Canal Plus, has made use of a clause which allows it to acquire its partners' shares in the sport channel, should the latter's shareholding structure change.
Last year TF1's net earnings reached Euros250m, on turnover of Euros2.2bn (up 22.5%). Advertising revenues from the free TV channel rose 16.2%, but a good part of the increase in TF1's 2000 revenues stemmed from the currently bullish French pay-TV market, as well as from the improved performance of affiliates such as TF1 Video.
TF1 is a significant shareholder in digital satellite platform TPS (over 1 million subscribers) and operates or owns stake in several cable and satellite channels.