MADRID — At Mip, Spanish buyers will have an eye on new product for their digital terrestrial TV services.
Over the past 12 months, DTT gained 6.2 share points, totaling 11.5% of the national audience by February.
DTT’s record share coincides with the ratings fall of the analog version of all three main nationwide channels — Telecinco, Antena 3 TV and pubcaster TVE1 — whose combined aud dropped from 56% in February 2007 to 52% this February.
There’s an upside to that: The digital versions of nationwide analog channels still control 62% of the DTT market share, suggesting that Spain is witnessing an ongoing advance of a different TV distribution system rather than a new contents revolution.
Antena 3’s service Antena.neox, with a 4.3% share, is Spain’s leading dedicated DTT channel. Top programming at youth-skewed Neox includes toon series “The Simpsons” and “Shin Chan,” arthouse and mainstream pics, soccer and international dramas.
Mediaset’s Telecinco has just overhauled its two DTT-only services aiming to raise brand visibility. And Antena 3 recently announced it will treble its investment in DTT contents for 2008.
“Breakeven still hasn’t come to the Spanish DTT market, but we think it’s getting closer,” says Telecinco head of acquisitions Ghislain Barrois.
While Spanish TV players are increasingly nursing their DTT services, some U.S. studios have been dipping their toes into the Spanish DTT market.
In February, Disney took a 20% stake in Vocento’s nationwide DTT channel Net TV, paying €27 million ($42.1 million). Since 2006, Sony Pictures Television Intl. has operated DTT channel SET en Veo.
Beyond exploring their DTT options, Spanish buyers will use the Cannes mart for meetings with studio execs to learn more about the effects of the U.S. writers strike on upcoming fiction series.
“We’ll be searching especially for action TV movies from European providers,” says Alejandro Florez, Cuatro head of programming, foreign production.