Advanced Television

Mediaset: FTA in Spain ‘not dead’

December 7, 2018

By Chris Forrester

Mediaset’s Spanish business (Mediaset España Comunicación) is of the view that traditional broadcast TV is far from dead in Spain. A report from investment bank Berenberg on Mediaset Spain, following the company’s presentation at the bank’s European Conference, stressed that the broadcaster’s key message was that, while TV may not be growing, it is certainly not as bad as the market would seem to be assuming. “Consumption of linear TV is declining gradually, but not at a precipitous rate and reach remains very high, allowing broadcasters to continue to offer mass audiences to advertisers, something which differentiates the medium from online, where fragmentation is much greater,” said the bank’s Sarah Simon.

“Management’s view is that while online advertising is accounting for the growth in the market, it is not actually eating spend on TV. The brand safety of TV and the mass reach distinguish it from online, making it a key medium for large advertisers. Online, however, is capturing new budgets from smaller advertisers who could not previously afford national advertising campaigns.”

“Netflix is not a substitute: Management also made the point that while Netflix offers series and movies,
Spanish free-to-air broadcasters generate large audiences for live content (entertainment and talk shows,
news, reality). Like [Germany’s commercial broadcaster] ProSiebenSat.1, it noted that the audience share of Netflix shows is much smaller than those for the large formats broadcast on free-to-air TV. Netflix is, of course, eating slightly into linear TV consumption, but it does not offer the live content that audience in Spain still love,” adds Simon.

Mediaset Spain’s CFO Javier Uria confirmed that there is more collaboration between FTA broadcasters both domestically and on a cross-border basis. He thinks there are potential synergies in the field of technology (particularly the development of HbbTV advertising), the acquisition of rights and in co-production of content. The European broadcasters meet regularly to discuss opportunities for collaboration.

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