Telecinco wrests crown from TVE-1

World Brief

MADRID — For the first time since TV launched in Spain in 1956, a private TV station — the Mediaset-owned Telecinco — was the most-watched TV channel here, knocking pubcaster RTVE’s general-entertainment channel TVE-1 out of the top slot it has occupied for 48 years.

Telecinco grabbed a 22.1% audience share for 2004 while TVE-1 posted its worst market share ever: 21.4%, down 2% from 2003.

RTVE’s cultural web, La 2, dipped to 6.9% from 7.2%, per audience research firm Corporacion Multimedia.

RTVE director general Carmen Caffarel, appointed by Spain’s socialist government after its March election victory, is unconcerned about the ratings slide. She insists market share is not everything as she returns the pubcaster to its public service roots.

The DeAPlaneta-controlled Antena 3 made the biggest recovery, upping share from 19.5% to 20.8%.

Spain’s regional Forta pubcasters took an average 17.7%, down from 18.2% in 2003.

Corporacion Multimedia analysts say Telecinco played off a strong all-round performance, plus a stronger attraction for demos — women and all viewers over 45 — once the preserve of TVE-1 and Forta.

A3 built on local dramas hits, especially comedy “Aqui no hay quien viva,” and aggressive primetime movie programming.

Terrestrial webs continued to lose market share in Spain, dropping one percentage point to 88.8%. Sogecable’s satellite platform Digital Plus took 3.5%, local TV channels 3% and Spain’s cable TV operators 1.8%.