Political problems for Spanish pay-DTT
Iñaki Ferreras

Spain has a new law allowing payment on DTT. But this law has now to be finally approved by parliament and has run into political problems.

There is already one pay-DTT platform, Dahlia TV, which is waiting to see what happens in the Parliament. And now Mediapro's national private channel laSexta has announced its own pay-DTT service with its premium soccer channel, Gol TV, leading the list of content.

According to José Miguel Contreras, la Sexta's CEO, this initiative will be "the most important change in the medium term for our channel."

The executive denounced the pressure the Parliament is having on the approval of pay-DTT although he added it is a “structural problem” since the boxes manufacturers "are working quickly on having units soon to be ready.”

Contreras also admitted conversations with their competitors, Grupo Planeta's Antena 3, Sogecable's Cuatro and Mediaset's Telecinco for a likely merger which the new audiovisual approved in Spring allows.

Gol TV is a new sporting channel on air since the middle of last August that is going to work under the pay-TV formula at a price of some €14 a month.

The project of the future General Law on the Audiovisual forecasts that every broadcaster can dedicate half its programming to pay-TV content. Since there will be some 24 private TV channels on DTT there could be up to 12 among them which would work under the pay-TV structure.

The presure the government and the Parliament is under not to pass the pay-DTT law comes mainly from the country's main media group Prisa, owner of Sogecable which operates the existing Digital+ digital-satellite platform. According to some market sources a group of executives from the group could have had conversations with several political parties in order for them to vote against this new law since it goes against Prisa's interests in Digital+.