Iñaki Ferreras ©RapidTVNews | 24-09-2011

There has been a continuous crisis among Spain's regional public broadcasters for years but now in the middle of this deep economic downturn their situation is worse than ever.

In total the TV companies are losing some E772 million, according to the national private TV sector.

One of the reasons for this extreme situation is the birth of the TDT in April 2010. Another reason - probably the main one - is the creation of a second and, in some cases, a third regional public channel. Such is the case of the Basque and the Catalan public TV companies, which launched a second channel not in their original language (Basque and Catalan, respectively) but in Spanish and then a third one in their original language. And this costs a lot of money.

But the paradox is that the programming of these second and third channels offers nothing different to the programme schedule of the country's traditional national broadcasters: they repeat the same content model and, what is worse, they are strongly used for political reasons. That is why Mallorca's local TV channel had to close down some weeks ago.

Some autonomous regions' governments are also planning to privatise their public broadcasters, such as Madrid, whose president has already allowed the company to welcome private capital. Another autonomous region announcing the welcome of private capital to its regional public broadcaster is Castilla-La Mancha. And the list has just started, especially in those regions controlled by the conservative-liberal party, the PP.

Others disagree with the previous figures, like Deloitte, which says the group of Spanish regional public channels got advertising incomes of E211 million, public money of E1.179 million and a total loss of E90,000 million for this year.

The end of an era for these broadcasters has just arrived...