Spain’s RTVE inks AT&T carriage deal

Canal Intl. to gain access to 22 mil U.S. subs

MADRID — Giant Spanish pubcaster RTVE has inked a deal with AT&T under which its flagship Spanish-lingo Canal Intl. will be carried on the U.S cable operator.

Move will give Canal Intl. access to 22 million U.S. subscribers if the AT&T/Comcast merger gains regulatory approval.

Instigated by RTVE’s Miami-based office, the AT&T deal is part of a makeover at TVE Intl., RTVE’s global niche channel operator, which broadcasts to 20 million pay TV homes worldwide.

TVE Intl. aims to hike global subs worldwide and strengthen programming at its six thematic channels: Canal Intl., newsfeed 24 Horas, classics service Canal Nostalgia, music web Canal Clasico, sports feed Teledeporte and Grandes Documantales-Hispavision.

Channeling Spanish pix

“The next move is to create a channel for North and Latin America dedicated to Spanish-language films,” said Javier Martin-Dominguez, TVE director of development and thematic channels.

Revamping its primetime sked, Canal Intl. already airs two Spanish and one Latino film per week, which has turned TVE Intl. into one of the most prolific buyers of Spanish-lingo films in the world.

TVE Intl. usually buys international cable-satellite pay TV rights for six to 12 months, independently of TVE pre-buys for Spain.

In a joint venture with Spanish publishing house Espasa Calpe, Canal Intl. has also launched a 39-episode Spanish-language course, “Es Espanol.”

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