Turmoil in Spain as RTVE slashes drama spending

Iñaki Ferreras | 25-03-2012

Spain’s TV industry is up in arms at the decision by RTVE to cut back dramatically on drama in the latest episode of its purse string tightening.

The president of Associated Television Production in Spain (PATE), Jose Manuel Lorenzo, described the decision as "abhorrent" warning that the move, a result of the national public broadcaster losing €204 in funding from the Spanish government, that this decision will lead to "paralysis, leaving thousands of people not knowing where to go."

An enraged Lorenzo also made suggestions as to what alternatives RTVE could take: “before ending [drama series, RTVE] can do other things, like not continue paying four million for a football game, or spend less to the Olympics or the purchase of American films that are in packages which are not issued.”

In the same vein, Lorenzo also warned that this decision would have a "domino effect" on private channels, "we are now going to [see less] fiction because hiring TVE competition is lower."

When asked if he would lead the public corporation, Lawrence - former director of Canal + and Antena 3 - said it would be "an exciting challenge for any professional, but not in the current conditions." "It's a grueling job, but a good challenge, if conditions were to direct, having a strategy, an interesting road map that can perform the job with some freedom," said.

He also alluded to the current television market, which he believes the "sprawl" from the proliferation of DTT channels has led to the "failure of Spanish audiovisual model." "If we do not remedy all this, we face the 'Apocalypse Now' in the audiovisual sector," he warned.