Magazine article Variety

Hollywood TV Deals at Risk as Spain Stumbles

Magazine article Variety

Hollywood TV Deals at Risk as Spain Stumbles

Article excerpt

MADRID

The dire state of the Spanish economy is leading to a shakeout in the nation's TV biz that may leave Mediaset Espana and Antena 3 as the only free-to-air players - and cause Hollywood volume deals with broadcasters to change hands, be renegotiated or simply lapse.

With unemployment, consumer spending, regional bank assets and foreign investor confidence plummeting, TV advertising revenues tumbled 30%, to euro2.2 billion ($2.7 billion) in 201 1, from $3.9 billion in 2007. They will fall an additional 16% in 2012, according to Adrian Zunzunegui of equity brokerage house Cheuvreux.

Spain's TV ad market is now back to its 1999 size, with broadcasters charging 2003-04 prices, another analyst adds.

The freefall hasn't left enough TV advertising coin for Spain's new DTT nets, says Eduardo Garcia Mantilla

Last month, Valencia's Canal Nou, facing a debt of $1.35 billion, revealed it would pinkslip 76% of its 1,695 staffers. Three days later, TeleMadrid was forced to ask its regional government to underwrite $105.6 million in short-term debt

Desperate to cut spending, Spain's central government has authorized regions to close or sell their pubcasters. Appointed in June, RTVE prexy Leopoldo Gonzalez-Echenique is obliged to slash the pubcaster's budget of $1.4 billion by $250 million.

Losing a collective $2.4 billion a year and 0.5%- 1% a month in ad market share, many regional webs will be forced to shutter, says Zunzunegui. RTVE won't renew all its content deals, he adds. …

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