Spanish TV: “Eye of the storm”

Spanish free-to-air commercial TV remains in bad shape with advertising income still suffering badly from the economic downturn. A new report from investment bankers Morgan Stanley says that ad-income is down again since March, and unlikely to recover for some months. Indeed, Spain’s three leading commercial broadcasters, Mediaset MES (formerly Telecinco), Mediaset MS, and Antena 3, will see revenues way down again.

Last year’s numbers were helped by the period around the World Cup with TV adspend up 12% in April, +15% in May, +10% in June and +15% in July. From August 2010, growth rates started to fade and even turned negative in September, November and December so that Q4 adspend was down -2.5%.

“It is fair to say,” says the bank’s report, “that the broadcasters are currently in the eye of a storm. We estimate Spanish TV [revenue] was down -9% in April, -20% in May and is currently running at -15% in June implying Q2 adspend down -14%. The July comp is +15% i.e. the same as May, which we believe was down -20%. We do not expect the broadcasters to witness any revenue improvement before they report Q2 (July).”

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