Mediapro introducing digital pay TV offering

MADRID — Spain’s government issued a call for license applications for digital terrestrial pay TV channels last week, reigniting the soccer war between two TV rivals.

Move will allow Mediapro to introduce its long-mooted digital terrestrial pay TV soccer offering.

That would be yet another body blow to Prisa, Spain’s biggest media group, which is floundering in its attempts to sell satcaster Digital Plus.

Soccer is Digital Plus’ main subscription driver, aired via premium and pay-per-view services.

The news hit Prisa’s already weakened stock, which has fallen 83.5% to E2 ($2.60) over the last 12 months, driving it down a further 4% on the Madrid bourse.

Mediapro, a controlling shareholder in broadcaster La Sexta, has rights to nearly all First Division clubs in Spain for the next season and beyond.

But it lacks the technological base for subscription or on-demand services. Digital terrestrial pay TV would allow La Sexta to upgrade existing free-of-charge digital terrestrial channels into feevee services.

Digital Plus can still survive Spain’s soccer war. At 2.1 million, Digital Plus still has by far the biggest sub-base of any pay TV operator in Spain.

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