Cuatro and La Sexta merger planned

By Robert Briel | May 24, 2009

Spanish commercial broadcasters Cuatro and La Sexta are close to a merger, according to a report in the
newspaper La Gaceta de los negocios.

Cuatro is owned by the Spanish media group Prisa and La Sexta is owned by media group Mediapro. A merger between the two broadcasters is made possible by a recent change in the regulatory environment, which makes merging of broadcasters possible if their combined reach does not exceed 27% of the tital audience and as long as there will be three different national channels.

The past few weeks rumours about possible merger talks between a number of broadcasters have been persistent in Spanish media. A deal between Cuatro and La Sexta seems likely, as both tend to lean to the left of the political spectrum.

Consolidation of the Spanish broadcasting landscape is expected, especially with the possible introduction of a new law, which will abolish commercials on public broadcaster RTVE, but which will also slap a 3% turnover tax on all private broadcasters to finance the state broadcaster.