RTVE joins the fight to cut costs

Spanish company slashes spending

MADRID — Spanish pubcaster Radio Television Espanola will slash costs for 2009 by e96.7 million ($121.5 million), as it battles Spain’s dramatically deteriorating TV ad market.

RTVE ad revs plunged a whopping 19% in 2008 to $700 million, prompting losses of $90.2 million.

According to RTVE prexy Luis Fernandez, RTVE will have a 2009 budget of $1.37 billion, 8% down on 2008.

The cost-drive is unlikely to affect acquisitions of foreign shows hugely.

RTVE is locked into multi-year output deals with Warner Bros. Intl. TV, Universal and Sony.

It can already look to an immediate savings of $66.9 million, the total broadcast costs of the 2008 Olympic Games.

The cost cuts come as its Spanish fiction drama and mini-series co-productions are getting spectacular ratings.

Set in 17th-century Madrid, family adventure series “Red Eagle,” produced by RTVE and Globomedia, has taken  26.4% and 26.5% shares in its first two segs. 

RTVE execs have beome more adept at picking content that skew towards their core 45-plus demo rather the 15-49 target of much U.S. fiction.

Last year, RTVE pacted with WBIT and Spanish network La Sexta for “The Mentalist.”

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