Spain: Regional TV fire sale
September 5, 2012
From David Del Valle in Madrid
Following the recent approval of a new legislation that allows their sell-off or closure, several Regional TV stations are putting their channels for sale for lack of money to finance their broadcasts in a Regional TV market with an overall debt of over €5 billion.
The Regional Government of Murcia is to call a public tender to award the management and the operation of the Regional TV channel 7RM now with an annual budget of only €15 million after terminating the contract with private TV company GTM. Telemadrid, the Madrid TV station, and Canal 9 in Valencia are also seeking potential buyers although it will not be easy: Telemadrid has an ad turnover of less than €30 million a year and only an audience share of less than 6 per cent.
To make their sell-offs viable, Regional TV stations are fragmenting their assets so that potential buyers can acquire specific divisions such as the news division. Several Spanish production companies like Vertice 360, Secuoya or Videorecord are taking positions in the market to profit from the fragmentation.
Other Regional TV stations such as the second Regional TV channel in Canaries and the second in Andalucia, Canal Sur 2, have closed down for lack of financial resources.