Spain’s TV ad spend spectacular

Telecinco, Antena 3 led tube ad growth

MADRID — Television advertising spend in Spain saw spectacular first-half growth, increasing 14.7% over the same period in 2004 to reach E1.55 billion ($1.86 billion), according to a report published Wednesday by Spanish research firm InfoAdex.

With ad slots at Spain’s main commercial nets near saturation, an increase in ad prices caused the hike.

“Right now, there aren’t sufficient commercial slots, especially on the two major private channels (Telecinco and Antena 3) to satisfy advertisers’ demand. There’s almost 100% saturation,” InfoAdex director of production Pedro Villa told Daily Variety.

Telecinco and Antena 3 led the TV ad growth with respective ad hikes of 24.4% and 24.3% in the first half of 2005, notching up ad revenues of $600.7 million and $529.1 million, respectively.

According to the report, for the first time in Spanish TV history, TVE, the television arm of pubcaster RTVE, trailed in third in ad receipts, billing $462.4 million, 0.2% less than a year earlier.

Under new management since 2004, TVE has ducked out of Spain’s rating race, focusing on a more PBS-style programming.

TVE’s TV ad market share crashed to 24.8% from 28.5% a year earlier. Telecinco’s market share rose, in contrast, from 29.7% to 32.3% and Antena 3’s from 26.2% to 28.4%.

Moneymakers at commercial webs were locally made drama series including Antena 3’s “Aqui no hay quien viva” and Telecinco’s “The Serranos.”

Reality shows have also done well at the Mediaset-controlled Telecinco.

Start-up businesses such as cable and satellite channels and interactive TV also registered meaningful growth, although they depart from low levels, climbing 29.3% to $17.4 million in ad revenues.

“It will be difficult for these growth levels to be maintained in late 2005, given already strong comparables in the second half of 2004. But, barring some worldwide disaster, the Spanish TV market will still see significant second-half growth, very probably around 10%,” Villa added.

Overall advertising in traditional media (TV, press, radio, Internet and cinema) rose 10% during the first six months of the year to $4.039 billion.

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