RTVE stops broadcasting bullfighting on TV

by Andy Sennitt.

Spain’s public broadcaster RTVE has confirmed that it will no longer show the country’s centuries-old tradition of bullfighting. The reason given is “in order to protect children from viewing violence”. RTVE has included its new ban on transmitting bullfighting programmes under a chapter called “Violence with animals” in its latest stylebook and says it “will no longer broadcast bullfighting.”

One of the reasons given by RTVE is that bullfights “generally coincide with hours protected or specially protected for young viewers.”

“Children can view violence exerted over animals with anxiety and we must therefore avoid it by all means,” the stylebook says.

RTVE has traditionally broadcast all major bullfights on prime-time TV. However, the broadcaster has not broadcast bullfighting in any of its programmes for months, citing low audience ratings and budget problems over expensive outdoor locations shooting. Now RTVE has confirmed it is slicing all links with an activity that many Spaniards revere as an art form while others consider a cruel and archaic blood sport with no place in modern society.