You will be redirected back to your article in seconds


The good, the bad, and the digital

MADRID — In early September, screaming fans at a rock venue and cinema in downtown Madrid heralded the gala premieres of primetime skeins “Remember When,” airing on TVE1, and Telecinco’s “Sin tetas no hay paraiso” (Without Tits There Is No Paradise).

Yet in some ways, Spanish TV has never had it so bad. In 2007-08, national market leader Telecinco’s audience share dipped below 20% for the first time, ending the season at 19.7%. TVE1 fell to 16.8% and Antena 3 to 16.3%. New kids on the block fared better: Cuatro, buoyed by Euro 2008 soccer, rose 1.2% to 8.6% and La Sexta added 2% for 5.1%.

Another concern: escalating flat-screen TV sales with built-in digital decoders are cannibalizing Spain’s analog market. Their share as of June share stood at 15%.

Another first for Spain: national series contributed more than imports to network share (8.4% vs. 8.3%).

“Sin tetas no hay paraiso,” at 23.4%, was Telecinco’s stand-out bow, joining vets like comedy “Aida,” top of the pile for the year at 30.8%, and “Yo Soy Bea” (“I Am Betty,” an “Ugly Betty” take-off) at 28.8%.

TVE1 scored again on nostalgia drama with “Remember” (20.3%), while cop dramedy “Paco’s Men” (19.5%) flexed muscles for Antena 3 and its risque teen “Physics or Chemistry” (18.2%) ignited auds. “The Simpsons” (21.6%) and primetime “CSI” and “CSI Miami” (25.8%) are perennials for Antena 3 and Telecinco, respectively. Cuatro’s “House” (17.3%), notched numbers well above network average.

Geraldine Gonard, sales director at Imagina, sees “high production values” as one factor explaining homegrown success. At Mipcom, Gonard will be tubthumping TVE’s lavish historical adventurer “Aguila roja,” skedded for late fall. With the April 2010 analogical switch-off sure to add to the double-whammy of shrinking ad revs and fragmentation, Gonard argues “television should adapt to new technologies.” Over at TVE, which bows “Guante blanco” (White Glove) later this year, sales director Diego Ibanez agrees. He highlights the pubcaster’s “strength in content production” as key to exploiting new technologies and weathering the perfect storm.

What prevails most is uncertaintly. As per Telecinco acquisitions head Ghislain Barrois, “it’s clear how analog television will be switched off, but not how DTT will be switched on.”    


“Aida” (Telecinco)

“CSI: Miami” (Telecinco)

“Sin tetas no hay paraiso” (Telecinco)

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Laverne Cox Charlie's Angels

    How Laverne Cox Landed a Cameo in Elizabeth Banks' 'Charlie’s Angels'

    Laverne Cox officially earned her wings, scoring a role in Sony’s “Charlie’s Angels.” But she revealed her cameo almost didn’t happen. When the Emmy-nominee heard that Elizabeth Banks was directing the film, the longtime fan of the franchise (and of Banks herself) reached out about being part of the project. Cox had previously worked with [...]

  • Lena Waithe'The Inheritance' Broadway play opening,

    Lena Waithe, Anderson Cooper Attend Broadway Opening of 'The Inheritance'

    “The Inheritance” pulls viewers in many directions — toward pain and hope, trauma and healing. It’s what brought stars like Andy Cohen, Anderson Cooper, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and Lena Waithe to Broadway on Sunday — a chance to heal, to remember and grieve. Also in attendance for the premiere at the Barrymore Theater [...]

  • Cybill ShepherdTrevorLIVE, Show, The Beverly Hilton,

    'The L Word' Co-Stars Cybill Shepherd and Jane Lynch Reunite at TrevorLive

    Fans of Showtime’s “The L Word” will be happy to hear that Cybill Shepherd eagerly reprised her on-screen romance with former co-star Jane Lynch on Sunday night at the TrevorLive Gala at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. While accepting the champion Award, Shepherd kissed Lynch not one, but twice. The “Moonlighting” star was recognized [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content