Free-to-air web replaces La 10

Viacom Intl. Media Networks and Spain’s Vocento are launching a free-to-air fiction channel in Spain.

The still-unnamed service will bow first quarter, replacing Vocento’s family-oriented nationwide channel La 10, which closed Jan. 1.

Deal plays off the 2009 programming alliance that gives Vocento TV channels access to Viacom’s vast library.

Last year, Viacom’s MTV started to air in Spain’s free-to-air market on one of Vocento’s four nationwide TV services, which it controls via Vocento TV holding Net TV.

The launch of the new channel “underscores Viacom’s strong commitment to the Spanish market,” said Antonio Campo Da’llOrto, Viacom Intl. Media Networks’ managing director of south Europe.

Vocento’s production holding Veralia will become a minority content provider for the new channel.

As advertising revenues plummet in Spain, global entertainment companies are seizing opportunities to provide channels or content to Spanish TV operators.

Discovery Max launched Jan. 12 after Discovery Networks Intl. inked with Spanish publishing group Unidad Editorial to replace its Veo TV.

Disney Channel has operated a Net TV free-to-air TV service since 2008.

Vocento owns a 55% stake in Net and, via Veralia, holds stakes in TV production houses Europroducciones, BocaBoca and Hill Valley, plus indie film distributor Tripictures.

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