Fragmentation rules in Spain

Shares for broadcasters take a tumble

Spain’s 2006-07 TV season saw “the triumph of fragmentation,” concluded a report released Monday by aud research company Barlovento.

Fragmentation owes as much to the launch of new analog operators and auds catching established analog broadcasters on new digital systems as to increased eyeballs for digital channels.

Shares for Spain’s main broadcasters fell between September 2006 and June 2007, compared with the previous season.

Telecinco edged down from 21.5% to 20.7%. Antena 3 plummeted from 21% to 18.1%, pubcaster TVE-1 from 19.8% to 17.8%. Spain’s regional broadcasters also tumbled — 16.1% vs.14.8%.

Launched November 2005, new analog net Cuatro built share impressively from 4.5% to 7.1%. Another new analog broadcaster, La Sexta, also made a showing, rising from 0.6% to 3.1%.

Even so, analog TV services’ share plunged from 89.2%, 2005-06, to 78.3%, 2006-07.

DTT share rose sharply from 0.6% to 4.8%. Cable sky rocketed, said Barlovento, from 4.8% to 10.8%.

Ironically, the most popular channel on DTT remains a digital version of Telecinco with a 19.7% share of the total DTT audience.

Likewise, cable’s official share hike has been powered by both increased auds and audience measurement methods being brought up to speed.

From April 2006, Sofres began to break out auds for cable operators as individual companies, including viewership for analog channels such as Telecinco and Antena 3 on cable systems.

That’s not to deny the growing attraction of niche channels in Spain. Their share increased from 7.9% to 10.1%.

But, as much as the triumph of audience fragmentation, Spain’s 2006-07 season witnessed the ongoing advance of different TV distribution systems.

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