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Spain’s Private Webs Steal Ad $ From RTVE

If there were any doubts about how successful private and regional webs here have been at draining ad income from staterun Television Espanola (RTVE), they have been dissipated with the publication of a Nielsen/Repress poll.

The poll shows that ad revenue from RTVE’s two national channels totaled accounted for only 51.47% of the $2.44 billion spent on ads in 1990. Until early 1990, RTVE was virtually the only game in town, taking well over 90% of revenue. The drop is even greater when one considers that the three private channels (Telecinco, Antena 3 and Canal Plus) only reached about half of Spain’s population during most of last year and didn’t go on the air until early 1990.

RTVE’s first channel billed 101.9 billion pesetas in 1990, ($1 billion) compared with 131.5 billion pesetas in 1989.

RTVE’s Second Channel, which has been greatly beefed up, showed an increase of revenue from 13.2 billion ($130 million) pesetas in 1989 to 23.5 billion pesetas ($235 million) in 1990.

In second place, after RTVE’s First Channel, was Berlusconi-controlled Telecinco, which copped 15.34% of the ad spending last year ($374 million). It was followed by RTVE’s Second Channel, with 9.64% of revenue ($235 million); TV-3 (the Catalan regional web), with 8.49% ($207 million); Telemadrid (the Madrid regional channel), 4.58% ($112 million); and Antena 3,4.02% ($98 million).

Considering that Telecinco didn’t start broadcasting until March, and then only to Madrid and Barcelona, and that Antena 3 also was limited at first to both these cities, it can be expected that for 1991 their share will be further increased, since they will be reaching the whole of Spain.

Canal Plus, the feevee web that didn’t go partially scrambled until last fall, had revenue of $3.5 million from spot ads.

The free-for-all among Spain’s channels resulted last year in the purchasing of packages of canned shows totaling well over $1 billion.

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