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Mediaset Espana’s Telecinco Reigns in Spain

TV ad investment grows for second year running after country's deep recession

MADRID — For the fourth year in a row, Mediaset Espana-owned Telecinco was the most-watched TV channel in Spain, commanding a 14.8% audience share. 2015 was the second year running of TV ad investment growth in the country after its recent deep recession.

Mediaset Espana’s channel bouquet – which also encompasses Cuatro, Divinity, Energy, FDF-T5 and Boing – topped ratings among top Spanish TV groups, scoring a 31% share in total, according to a report by Madrid-based audience research company Barlovento.

During the past year, TV market consolidation continued as a trend, with five major TV channels cuming 52.7% of Spain’s TV audience, vs. 52% in 2014. Per Barlovento, the shutdown in 2014 of nine Spanish TV networks forced  slightly larger TV audience concentration.

The recovery of Spain’s TV advertising investment has consolidated. Over the first nine months of the year, TV market’s revenues reached €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion), 8% up vs. same period 2014. According to Barlovento’s full year estimations, TV ad investment has grown $374.5 million, from $1.8 billion in 2014 to an estimated $2.2 billion.

Top private TV groups Mediaset Espana and DeAPlaneta-controlled Atresmedia -owner of Antena 3, LaSexta, Neox, Nova and Mega– maintained their unrivalled supremacy in Spain’s free-to-air TV market, accounting for 58% of TV audiences and 86% of total TV ad spend, the report said.

Pubcaster RTVE’s audience share held as a TV group (16.7%) but its flagship channel La1 suffered record low ratings (9.8%), amid doubts about the viability of corporation’s business model after it nixed advertising in 2010. Spain’s Regional Forta pubcasters took an average 7.5%, down from 8% in 2014.

The year also saw the award by Spain’s Ministry of Industry of six new nationwide TV channels. Local companies 13TV, Radio Blanca and Grupo Secuoya will all operate a single standard DTT channel; Mediaset, Atresmedia and Real Madrid TV each won a license to operate new HD networks.

As for contents, fiction was the dominant TV genre in Spain, with 31.6% of total TV broadcasts, surpassing newscasts (18.4%) and entertainment (16.6%). Fiction broke dowm as feature films (39.6%), TV dramas (28.2%), animated TV series (18%), sitcoms (7.3%) and telenovelas (4.1%).

The second season of Telecinco’s Spanish thriller “El Principe” (pictured), produced by Cesar Benitez and Aitor Gabilondo at Plano a Plano, dominated top TV fiction show rankings for 2015 of the year, placing six episodes among its 50 most watched TV programs.

Another Plano a Plano TV drama, comedy “Alli Abajo,” debuted successfully on Antena 3 primetime, getting two segs into Spain’s top 50. One episode of the third season of period drama “Velvet,” a Bambu Producciones creation for Antena 3, also made the top 50 chart.

However, following a Spanish TV long-tradition, the most-watched TV broadcast over last year in Spain was a soccer match, Real Madrid vs. Atletico de Madrid, one leg of their European Champions League knock-out clash, which led 2015 ratings with a 45.4% share and 8.7 million viewers.

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