Network debuts in air for Spain

Net TV looks for U.S., Euro skeins; Veo TV to explore alternative p'gramming

MADRID — Two new national Spanish broadcasters look set to debut on the Riviera: the ad-driven digital terrestrial webs Net TV and Veo TV, both set to launch in early 2002.

Led by media group Prensa Espanola and Pantalla Digital, Net TV will commit 4 billion pesetas ($23 million) to acquisitions over its first year of operations. Programming will target a young urban audience.

The service will be looking for U.S. and Euro series rather than Latin America telenovelas, says Pantalla CEO Mikel Lejarza, who will attend Mip.

Net will not try to outbid established Spanish webs for huge U.S. pic and series package deals, says Lejarza. The web will probably source some domestic programming from Pantalla partners the Arbol Group and Cartel-Telson, two of Spain’s top TV producers.

Veo is also likely to explore an alternative programming style: It aims for a modest 5%-7% market share, per Jaime Castellanos, prexy of Pearson’s Spanish publishing arm Recoletos, one of Veo’s controlling shareholders.

Veo is likely to source programming from El Mundo TV, the production house owned by Spanish daily El Mundo, whose parent company Unedisa, like Recoletos, has a 25.5% stake in Veo. El Mundo TV already has produced a batch of acclaimed social issue docus for commercial net Antena 3, but its production plans run larger.

Veo appointed former Telefonica personnel director Andres Tejero as its CEO in February.

Jose Maria Aznar’s government has made signs that it may well concede a third nationwide digital terrestrial TV license this year. The leading candidate is Barcelona-based Horizonte Digital.

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