‘Love Is Blind’ Producer Red Arrow Studios Takes $55M Hit To Revenue During Pandemic

Red Arrow Studios, the production group owned by German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1, took a €46 million ($55M) hit to its revenue in 2020 after the coronavirus pandemic halted production around the world.

Red Arrow-owned Kinetic Content landed a big Netflix hit in the shape of Love Is Blind, but it was ultimately an unsettled year for the production empire amid Covid-19.

ProSiebenSat.1 shelved plans to sell the company because of the pandemic, while the producer’s CEO James Baker was among a number of senior executive departures. Red Arrow is now overseen by a ProSieben advisory board.

According to ProSieben’s full-year earnings, Red Arrow’s total revenue fell 6% from €730M in 2019 to €684M last year. Adjusted EBITDA dropped 12.6% to €42M. Revenue picked up in Q4 last year, when sales hit €235M, compared with €222M in 2019.

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ProSieben said: “The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic also had a high impact here in the second quarter in particular, with the international program production business being particularly hard hit. After program productions in the US in particular had to be largely stopped or postponed in mid-March, there were still restrictions there in the further course of the year.

“As the restrictions on public life were eased, production business recovered slightly in the third quarter and was above the level of the previous year in the fourth quarter due to catch-up effects. The performance in program distribution, our global sales business, was also clearly positive over the full-year. However, this was unable to compensate the decline in production business over the first nine months of 2020.”

More broadly, ProSieben’s 2020 earnings were in line with unaudited results it published in January. Group revenue stood at €4.05 billion, while EBITDA was €706M. This compared with €4.1B and €872M in 2019.

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