Runaway hit - 'Love/Hate' DVDs boost RTE's profits
The latest 'Love/Hate' DVD is flying off the shelves and sending profits at RTE's commercial arm soaring to €4.4m.
In Ireland, last year, overall revenues from DVD sales fell by 30pc. However, people could not get enough of 'Love/Hate' gangster Nidge's desperate efforts to maintain his criminal enterprise, with the three separate 'Love/Hate' titles ranking as the top three best-selling TV DVDs of 2013.
The series boosted pre-tax profits at RTE's commercial arm by 10pc last year to €4.4m.
According to the directors' report attached to the accounts just filed by RTE Commercial Enterprises Ltd, in contrast to the countrywide sharp downturn in DVD sales, "RTE Merchandising recorded significant revenue growth across the same period".
The report states that 'Love/Hate' continued its strong performance, with the titles ranking as the "top three television DVDs for 2013".
The popularity of 'Love/Hate' series 4 resulted in the RTE player usage increasing by nearly one-third for the period September to October, it reported.
Series 5 of the hit TV series is due back on our screens this autumn and the sale of the Love/Hate DVDs contributed to revenues at the firm increasing by 6.5pc from €21.7m to €23.1m in the 12 months to the end of December last.
RTE does not disclose the revenues generated from the sale of the 'Love/Hate' DVDs, though the profits will go someway towards funding the series, which costs around €600,000 per episode to produce.
The commercial firm operates the RTE Player; sells RTE TV shows overseas; produces the RTE guide along with other commercial activities.
The directors' report also states that RTE Digital commercial revenues saw a year-on-year increase of 13pc, with the RTE Player delivering an average of 3.8 million streams per month in 2013.
The pattern of users has changed, with the traffic to the RTE.ie website down year-on-year but viewers accessing RTE's mobile service was up.
According to the report, mobile advertising revenue was up significantly.
The report adds that the migration of Aertel to digital terrestrial television platforms proved challenging in retaining clients.
The operating costs of the firm last year totalled €18.7m compared with €17.7m.