Antena 3 TV puts Mas in prexy seat

MADRID — Jose Maria Mas, a 43-year-old lawyer who formerly was the secretary general of Spanish telco Telefonica, has been named president of Antena 3 TV, the highest-rated commercial station in Spain.

Mas’ appointment completes the takeover of the station by Telefonica, which bought out former prexy Antonio Asensio in July. Telefonica currently holds a 25% stake in Antena 3 but could raise this to 50% if the government goes ahead and liberalizes media ownership laws.

Asensio will retain ownership however, of both film/TV production house Aurum Producciones and film distribution operation Lider. Previously associate companies of Antena 3 TV, the outfits now will be run on an indie basis. Francisco Ramos, former director of program acquisitions at Antena 3 TV, has moved with Asensio to maintain his post as CEO of Aurum.

In a parallel move, Manuel Campo Vidal, veepee of Antena 3 until Telefonica’s entry, was reconfirmed as president of soccer rights brokering company Audiovisual Sport. Before him lies a Herculean task: To thrash out a compromise allowing Telefonica and Sogecable, both 40% shareholders in AS, to share next season’s pay-per-view soccer rights between their respective digital platforms, Via Digital and CanalSatelite Digital (CSD)

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