The Spanish state broadcaster, TVE, yesterday gave a boost to bullfighting's chances of survival when it showed its first live broadcast of a fight in six years.
TVE stopped showing live bullfighting in October 2006 under the auspices of the then Socialist government, but the ban was only made formal in 2009 because it was considered, according to one TVE source, "too bloodthirsty for children". Since then, bullfighting has had an uphill battle to retain its once leading role in Spanish cultural life, with the country's dire economic situation exacerbating its difficulties.
The number of bullfights in Spain has, since 2007, dropped by a third, and by 50 per cent in its heartland of Andalusia. It has been banned outright in Catalunya and in San Sebastian, while polls in 2011 indicated that more than six out of 10 Spaniards disliked the spectacle, which has long been criticised by animal-rights activists.
And with tickets selling at …