Real Madrid's DTT channel to kick-off in January

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 04-11-2013

Spanish football team Real Madrid is close to launching a national DTT channel, according to El Economista, which says the new format of Real Madrid TV, currently available as a pay-TV channel, will go on air in January.

Spain's DTT market will be reorganised in 2014, and more than one licence will change hands. One of these is likely to go to Real Madrid, whose president, Florentino Pérez, has been negotiating for it so he can offer the football club's channel free-to-air and with national coverage.

Real Madrid would be the first football team in the country to do this, although Barcelona is also broadcasting through the DTT network, but only in the region of Catalonia.

According to El Economista, Real Madrid TV will either take the place of the already closed Marca TV or AXN, the audience of which hasn't been as large as expected. Both of these licences are owned by Unidad Editorial, with which Florentino Pérez has been intensively negotiating since the summer. Both parties are said to be close to reaching an agreement.

This free-to-air channel project isn't a new idea for Real Madrid. Last year it attempted to rent licences from Marca TV – which postponed its closure until the summer – and La 10, which was finally acquired by Viacom to broadcast the Paramount Channel.