Advanced Television

Tele 5-Cuatro merger gets approval

October 29, 2010

From David Del Valle in Madrid

The merger between Spain’s largest private TV channel Mediaset-controlled Telecinco and Cuatro is closer following the approval of the by the competition watchdog CNC with several conditions.

Tele 5 will be barred from selling advertising from the partners’ two main channels (Tele 5 and Cuatro) in one package that makes up more than 22 per cent of audience share, a condition that Tele 5 itself proposed to smooth approval.

CNC has also imposed limits on the duration of exclusive content from Tele 5: no more than 3 years of exclusivity on films and TV series and 5 years the period of FTA exploitation of a TV film.

Telecinco also agreed to break agreements to manage advertising for third parties operating free digital channels. As for DTT, Tele 5 will not be able to launch more DTT channels by renting DTT licences to third parties. The channel also agreed no to block any DTT improvement in its rivals Net TV and La Sexta with which it shares a multiplex until 2015.

The merger, estimated at E1.05 billion, was launched last year, as Prisa is struggling to pay down debt. The other part of the deal, linking Tele 5 with Prisa’s Digital+ unit and partner Telefonica is still pending approval, the CNC said. Most of the competition concerns centred on the sale of the Digital+ stake given the partnership with Telefonica.

Categories: Articles, Business, M&A, Pay TV