Intereconomía returns to pay-TV

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 14-02-2014

Intereconomía's board of directors has surprisingly announced its decision to abandon Spanish DTT and move back to pay-TV.

The channel, which has been struggling financially during the advertising' crisis, will only continue to broadcast free-to-air (FTA) in Madrid and Valencia.

The channel has already stopped broadcasting in order to "restructure the group's strategy and renew the TV channel," the network explained in a statement.

The group will, for now, focus on its strongest business units, namely radio and newspapers. In addition, it will keep producing and broadcasting Intereconomía's most successful TV shows, such as El Gato al Agua, via the Internet.

Although the advertising market seems to have started recovering, Spain's large media groups Mediaset and Atresmedia are gaining most of the new investment. This is why the group says it needs to "look for new business models to guarantee its viability".

Over the past few years, Intereconomía has been trying to survive under an increasing debt. Vocento Group, which owns the DTT slot through which the channel was broadcasting, claimed for €10 million unpaid rent for radioelectric space this week.

The channel started broadcasting in 2005 through pay-TV and moved to FTA in 2008. The eventual restructuring of the Spanish DTT spectrum, which is due to close up to eight channels, may also be one of the causes behind Intereconomía's decision.