Cuatro goes mobile
October 13, 2010
From David Del Valle in Madrid
Sogecable-owned TV channel Cuatro is launching as a Virtual Mobile Operator later this month. In partnership with KPN and using Orange celular coverage it Will use the brand Cuatro Movil.
Cuatro Movil’s mobile will offer contract and pre-pay oprions and will make phones including the Nokia x2, Acer Liquid E, Huawei U8110 or Nokia 2690, available.
Its entry into the VMO market comes at a time when the Spanish Competition authorities are looking into its proposed merger with Mediaset-controlled Tele 5. The CEO of La Sexta, Jose Miguel Contreras, has asked the Competition National Commission (CNC) –which is currently studying the case- to impose tough limits on or even “partially prohibit” the merger.
According to La Sexta, the new group would control over 27 per cent of the audience for DTT, with Telecinco already the market leader with a revenue share of 34 per cent. As for pay-TV, the merged company would have a market share of 63 per cent against ONO’s 24 per cent. This would mean, according to La Sexta, that the merged company would have a market distorting negotiating power with content providers. To avoid this, La Sexta has asked CNC to limit the joint acquisition of TV rights for FTA and pay-TV.
In the meantime, La Sexta is preparing the launch of third channel, La Sexta 3 in November. It will be a FTA channel centred on fiction content (films and TV series). Its pay-TV channel Gol TV claims to have 290,000 subscribers through DTT and a total of 1.4 million including all distribution platforms (against 800,000 subscribers to Canal + Liga, owned by Sogecable).