Canal Plus on cable for the first time

From David del Valle in Madrid

In an unprecedented deal, Prisa-owned premium pay-TV channel, Canal Plus will be available on a Spanish cable network the first time since its launch 20 years ago, following the agreement with Telecable, an Asturias-based cable operator with 150,000 subscribers.

It will be the first time Canal Plus has been made available outside of the digital DTH platform, Digital Plus. The channel will be free of charge until the end of August and will subsequently be offered at E9.63 a month to Telecable triple-play subscribers, E12 for those with two services and at E15 for only TV subscribers.

Along with Canal Plus, two other Sogecable-produced channels, Caza y Pesca TV (dedicated to hunting and fishing) and DCine Español (dedicated to Spanish cinema), will also form part of the package through the cable network.

The agreement comes at a time when Digital Plus, Spain’s biggest pay TV operator, saw subs fall 189,000 in 2009 to 1.85 million, following the launch of rival Mediapro’s pay DTT soccer service Gol TV.

Operating in Asturias, north of Spain, Telecable is owned by the Caja de Ahorros de Asturias bank and publishing group Prensa Iberica and will expand to Spain’s Extremadura region, west of Spain, by year-end.

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