Spain’s TV ad revenue grows 4%

Telecinco ups coin from commercials by 31%

MADRID — TV ad investment in Spain grew 4% last year to Euros2.47 billion ($3.4 billion), according to a survey published by research company Infoadex.

Total ad revs in the country, excluding non-conventional outlets such as merchandising and personal mailing, increased 3.9% to $8.1 billion, showing its first year-on-year positive trend since 2007.

Free-to-air nationwide TV webs’ ad sales grew 2.3% to $2.94 billion, capturing 86.1% of total TV ad investment.

Mediaset’s Telecinco group led the commercial TV race upping 30.8% its ad receipts to $1.1 billion, boosted by last summer’s FIFA World Cup soccer matches.

The Telecinco group ad income — including core channel Telecinco and dedicated TV services FDF, La Siete and Boing — repped a 32.1% Spanish TV ad market share.

Ad revs at DeAPlaneta’s Antena 3 group increased 18.2% to $952.5 million. The A3 Group, which successfully added in August its new TV service Nitro, also benefited from synchronized advertising slots spread over its whole family of nationwide TV channels. Main growth in 2010, however, was seen at Imagina/Televisa-owned web LaSexta, which increased sales 39.5% to $381.6 million, helped by sports transmissions, especially those for Spain’s soccer Liga matches.

The commercial TV landscape suffered a radical makeover after the Spanish government imposed an advertising ban at pubcaster TVE from Jan. 1, freeing up around $582 million in TV ads revs in a year.

“This investment has remained almost entirely in the TV market,” said Infoadex technical director Pedro Villa. “Having one less competitor has allowed the main Spanish broadcasters to raise prices.”

Market estimations set that price hike at 20% last year.

Sources forecast a 2%-3% growth for Spain’s TV ad market this year.

A key question is the effect of Telecinco’s merger with Prisa broadcaster Cuatro as the two networks employ a joint advertising strategy.