Launch follows Disney Channel move to free
MADRID — MTV will launch its own channel service in Spain’s free-to-air TV market from September.After 10 years operating as a pay TV channel in Spain, a service it will still continue, the move follows a TV programming alliance struck last year between MTV-owner Viacom and Spanish media conglom Vocento, which see Vocento’s local and regional DTT channels accessing Viacom’s vast library. MTV will broadcast using one of Vocento’s four nationwide DTT services, which Vocento controls via its DTT operator Net TV. In 2008, Disney took a 20% stake in Net TV allowing Disney to also diversify from a pay TV to DTT environment. Disney Channel has become a hit on Spain’s DTT market, averaging a 2.6% share from Spain’s digital switch on in April to June. “Following the success of Disney Channel as a free-to-air feed, MTV’s FTA makeover could rep upside for Vocento,” said one Madrid-based analyst. MTV will be the third music channel in Spain’s DTT market following Prisa’s 40 Latino and Grupo Radio Blanca’s Kiss TV. Also in September, Net TV will launch a commercial, family-oriented nationwide channel called La 10. The other service broadcast by Net TV is Intereconomia TV, owned by Spain’s Grupo Intereconomia, a minority shareholder in Net.