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Spain hinders International DTT entrants

August 2, 2017

From David Del Valle in Madrid

The Spanish Government wants to keep the country’s DTT licences in the hands of Spanish companies.

Consequently, the Administration has blocked the entry of Viacom, owner of The Paramount Channel, into the DTT business as a shareholder by banning the sale of a 25 per cent stake in a DTT licence from Vocento to the US group.

A deal between both companies had already been agreed but the Government has vetoed it on the grounds that there is no reciprocity of investments with the US and that the 25 per cent stake surpasses the 20 per cent limit authorised for an International company in a DTT licence.

Viacom has been paying around €3 million to Vocento since 2012 to rent a DTT licence to broadcast The Paramount Channel. Vocento wanted to sell a 25 per cent of its DTT company Net TV to reduce losses. Back in 2008, the company sold a 20 per cent stake of Net TV to The Walt Disney Company Spain & Portugal and a further 25 per cent stake to Intereconomia. But due to lack of payment from Intereconomia, Vocento had to maintain that 25 per cent with losses estimated at €5.8 million.

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