Spain drastically reducing TV advertising
Private broadcasters push for immediate changeMADRID -- Answering the cries of Spain's private broadcasters, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has announced a "drastic reduction in advertising on public television."
Zapatero did not say by how much he planned to cut advertising revenue on pubcaster Radio Television Espanola, which uses a mixed-financing model that relies on advertising far more than state subsidies. Ad revenue represented more than €557 million ($742 million) last year for RTVE.
Last year, Zapatero's government instituted a policy that saw RTVE's advertising allotment cut to 10 minutes per hour from 11 minutes, due to drop to nine minutes next year.
But private broadcasters, represented by the lobby UTECA, have long insisted the meager drop was insufficient. They reacted to Zapatero's announcement with satisfaction Thursday, but pushed for the administration to make sweeping and immediate changes.
"This year, at the very least, advertising during primetime on the public channels should be eliminated, while, in the span of 12 to 13 months, advertising should disappear from the pubcaster entirely," UTECA secretary general Jorge Del Corral said.
The new initiative will be included in the upcoming Spanish Audiovisual Law, but must still be approved by the Spanish parliament.