Government denies extra capital injection as RTVE free falls

DetailsJuan Fernandez Gonzalez | 14 January 2015

Spain's Ministry of Finance has refused to give an extra injection of cash to the country's public broadcaster, RTVE, which accumulated a yearly deficit of around €140 million during 2014, increasing its general debt to a figure difficult to recover from.

According to El Economista, RTVE's board of directors formally asked for an extra credit line in November, repeating the same move which drove the former director to resign.

Since José Antonio Sánchez, RTVE's current head, arrived at the network more than two months ago, the intention has been to reduce expenses and make the channel's structure more efficient. But cuts have been made for the last four years without achieving a substantial saving, and 2014 wasn't any different.

The public broadcaster closed the year with a deficit of between €135-140 million, which adds to the over €800 million debt accumulated over the years, mostly since private advertising was prohibited on the network in 2010.

Since then, TVE has depended solely on the public budget and a media tax paid by the country's telcos. During the last years of the financial crisis, the government cut the network's budget by around €700 million without making any major changes to its structure or financial model.

Earlier this year, the network received an extra capital injection of €130 million and a capital stock reduction of €300 million in an attempt to balance its accounts.