October 25, 2017 / 4:00 AM / 7 months ago

German TV ad revenue growth to slow to 1.1 pct this year - lobby

FRANKFURT, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Growth in revenue from television advertising in Germany is forecast to fall to its slowest rate since 2011, an industry association said on Wednesday, as broadcasters battle changing viewing habits.

Net TV advertising revenue is expected to grow by just 1.1 percent this year to 4.6 billion euros ($5.4 billion), confirming market weakness that has led broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 to repeatedly lower its outlook.

The figures, from the Association of Commercial Broadcasters and Audiovisual Services in Germany (VPRT), point to rapid ad growth in new media such as so-called instream ads shown on videos watched over the Internet.

German broadcasters complain they face tighter regulation than online rivals like Google’s Alphabet or Facebook , a situation they say could get worse if proposed e-privacy regulation is implemented by the European Union.

The e-privacy rules would require viewers to opt in to allow cookies, which track their online behaviour, to be installed on their devices. Broadcasters say that big platforms, which can already track their customers’ clicks, would benefit unduly.

“Our businesses need fair competitive conditions,” said VPRT head Hans Demmel, who is also chief executive of news channel n-tv.

Overall, audiovisual advertising revenue is forecast to rise by 2.9 percent to 5.9 billion euros, the VPRT said in its half-yearly forecast.

Paid audiovisual content, including Pay-TV and video on demand, is forecast to show far stronger growth, gaining 12.5 percent to 3.7 billion euros. ($1 = 0.8498 euros) (Reporting by Joern Poltz and Douglas Busvine; Editing by David Holmes)

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