TF1, the French public-service broadcaster, has announced a year-on-year increase in the net profit and revenue of its media arm for the third quarter thanks to its coverage of the just-completed domestic Rugby World Cup (RWC).

TF1 held home broadcasting rights to the 2023 World Cup, which saw South Africa crowned champions (as in 2019) on Saturday (October 28). However, it sub-licensed 28 matches to commercial broadcaster M6 and fellow public-service broadcaster France Televisions.

The company’s consolidated revenue for Q3 stood at €509.4 million, down 6%. However, the dip has been attributed to the poor performance of TF1’s Newen Studios division, which saw its revenue drop 54.1% to €64.2 million.

In contrast, total revenues for TF1’s media division came to €445.2 million in Q3, a 7.6% increase. Of that figure, €350.8 million (a 7% increase) was generated from advertising, which TF1 said was “notably driven” by its monetization of its RWC rights.

Specifically, the media advertising revenues of streaming service MYTF1 increased by 24.9% year-on-year (YoY) to €22.1 million, while non-advertising media revenues generated €94.4 million – an increase of 9%. The rise was also driven by the “positive performance” of interactive features offered during the RWC.

Net profit for Q3, meanwhile, rose by 57.1% to €37.7 million compared to €24 million during Q3 in 2022.

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TF1 Group also reported it attracted an audience of around 50 million viewers per week during Q3, with its coverage reaching 15.6 million for the opening match of the tournament between France and New Zealand – a record audience for an RWC opener in France.

The final between South Africa and New Zealand attracted an average audience of 10.9 million, the highest such figure for a RWC match not featuring France since 2007. The viewership for the match peaked at 12.7 million and achieved an audience share of 50% in France.

The record on French TV for a rugby match is the World Cup semi-final lost by France against England (9-14) in 2007. The match had 18.3 million viewers on average, peaking at over 20 million, with a 67.4% audience share.