CNN+ to Stop Broadcasting in Spain

Spanish media conglomerate Prisa pulls out of the joint venture.


MADRID -- CNN+, launched in 1999 as a joint venture between Turner and Spanish media conglomerate Prisa, will cease broadcasting on Dec. 31, 2010, after the local partner pulled out of the venture.

It is the first move after the entrance of hedge fund Liberty Acquisition Holdings into Prisa and follows the sale of Prisa's free-tv channel Cuatro to rival broadcaster Telecinco.

In a statement, Turner said it "regrets Prisa's decision. Turner respects this decision and expresses its recognition of the cooperation it has maintained with Prisa over the course of the 11 years of CNN+'s existence."

Turner said it would continue searching for ways to serve news to the Spanish audience, both in television and digital media.

The announcement came as Mediaset-controlled Telecinco announced it had completed its capital expansion with some 87 million new shares worth €499 million ($662.3 million). Mediaset will now proceed to buy out Prisa's national channel Cuatro and the purchase of 22% of Prisa's pay TV operator Digital+.

Some of Telecinco's TV hosts already have Digital+ programs.

Telecinco and Cuatro will pool news gathering resources, while continuing as two different channels. Telecinco will continue to target the same mainstream audiences as it has done and Cuatro will focus on a younger audience between 14 and 24 years.