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Spain: Government under fire over FTA policy

“The government is causing serious harm to the TV industry”, says UTECA

The Administrations’s TV policy is under fire. The private TV Association, UTECA, which represents the largest FTA TV groups in Spain, has accused the government of “causing serious harm” to the Audio Visual industry which represents a business of €10,300 million (1 per cent of GDP) and employs 77,000 people.

UTECA has urged the Administration to “correct mistakes” and take a proactive attitude to guarantee the present 15 DTT channels as previous Government decisions have driven to the closure one year ago of 9 DTT channels (with a reduction of 37.5 per cent in the DTT offer in Spain, from 24 to 15 channels), the most likely shutdown of another 8 DTT channels over the next months and the Court challenge of the recently-approved new DTT public tender.

“The current TV scenario should be a priority for the government”, claims UTECA as the (the government’s) “inaction” may give rise to the loss of 17 FTA channels to the detriment of the TV groups which have been investing millions in the creation and maintenance of the channels.

UTECA has also accussed the government of improvisation in the DTT migration process that ended last March 30th and has refused the criticism from the Administration over concentration moves concerning Atresmedia and Mediaset, claiming that the big problem is in the pay TV market with the Telefonica’s acquisition of Canal Plus controlling 70 per cent of the business and 85 per cent in terms of revenues.

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