The result missed market expectations and sent RTL's shares lower on Thursday, but the Bertelsmann-owned company said revenues would recover in the second half, raised its full-year profit forecast and promised an interim dividend.
RTL said it now expected growth of 1 to 2.5 percent in 2016 earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) instead of broadly stable EBITA, and confirmed it expected revenue growth of 2.5 to 5 percent.
EBITA grew 3 percent in the quarter to 351 million euros, driven by French broadcaster M6 and RTL Germany. Both sales of 1.45 billion euros and EBITA missed analysts' forecasts in a Reuters poll.
"You can't look at the production business on a quarterly basis simply because of the nature of the business," co-Chief Executive Guillaume de Posch said in an interview with Reuters, pointing out the uneven occurrence of large contracts.
He added the financial impact of a deal announced with Amazon to show Fremantle drama "American Gods" on Amazon Prime - part of a burgeoning business with so-called over-the-top Internet players - would first be felt in 2017.
Analysts welcomed the raised guidance and dividend but expressed some concern over the second quarter.
Shares in RTL were down 1.6 percent at 78.13 euros by 0913 GMT, and were the weakest performers in the European media index, which was down 0.7 percent.
"The overall operative development is showing only a slightly positive dynamic against the backdrop of a solid business cycle in major markets," wrote DZ Bank analyst Harald Heider, who rates RTL "hold".
German rival ProSiebenSat.1 reported a 15 percent jump in second-quarter revenues and a 7 percent increase in recurring core profit on the back of a positive economy in its German-speaking markets.
The VPRT association of German private broadcasters forecasts net advertising revenue in the television sector will rise by 2 to 3 percent in Germany during 2016.
RTL's Chief Financial Officer Elmar Heggen said the company had ample scope for acquisitions even after paying the interim dividend of 1 euro per share in September.
It spent a total of 48 million euros in the first half on acquisitions and stepping up its stakes in existing investments, and has an annual budget of around 250 million euros.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Mark Potter)
By Georgina Prodhan