You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

DTT drives U.S. buys at Antena 3-La Sexta

Spanish group's success rolls off Hollywood acquisitions

MADRID — Low-cost digital terrestrial TV has become an ace card for Spain’s second-biggest broadcasting conglom, Antena 3-La Sexta, driving share, priming U.S. hits and bulwarking its bottom line.

Since the merger of Antena 3 and La Sexta in March, the group’s five free-to-air DTT channels have grabbed a collective 8.5% share of the audience. One of these, femme-skewed Nova, was the fastest-growing channel in Spain, growing share from 1.3% in January to 2% in December.

The rise of free-to-air DTT channels in Spain helps explain the shift from high-cost local production to far lower-cost U.S. program acquisition in the territory.

As Spain’s TV ad market nearly halved from 2007’s Euros3.5 billion ($4.5 billion) to around $2.4 billion last year, Antena 3 has been forced to put on the back-burner production of in-house fiction hits for young-adult DTT channel Neox, such as relationship sitcom “Impares” and comedy sketch show “Coconut Museum.”

Neox, which airs U.S. skeins “Modern Family,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men,” is Spain’s third biggest channel in 13-24 demos, punching 10% 13-24 share, ahead of pubcaster TVE 1, Cuatro and La Sexta, said Bernd Reichart, outgoing Antena 3 managing director, digital channels.

“The crisis has increased grid-time for bought-in product,” added Reichart, who will serve as CEO of German channel Vox from Feb. 1. “Eight or nine years ago, we only partially tracked Hollywood. With a family of seven different channels, no major studio product can be discounted as unsuitable.”

Neox’s youth profile was “absolutely fitting” for U.S. premium product, Reichart added. “‘Two and a Half Men’ has jumped from channel to channel. Now it has a second chance to be a hit.”

“In the past, if big Spanish channels had tried to air ‘Modern Family’ in primetime, it would never have hit 15% share, and would have flopped,” one analyst said.

“Now, if ‘Modern Family’ hits 2%, it’s a success and TV networks pay for just a 2% share.”

An eight-channel spread that includes La Sexta 3 (1.6% share), driven by Warner Bros. movies, also appeals to advertisers, offering a wide range and precise demo-targeting channels, the analyst added.

DTT channel growth — up from 2.6% of free-to-air audiences in 2007 to 28.5% last year — is natural.

“With Spain’s digital switch-over in April 2010, Spaniards were forced to watch either DTT or pay TV. With the crisis, more people are watching DTT,” the analyst said.

“Mediaset Espana and Antena 3 have also added channels, increasing choice, and consumption,” he added.

Last year, average Spanish TV viewing reached a historic record of 246 minutes a day.

More TV

  • 'SNL' Turns the Impeachment Hearings into

    'Saturday Night Live' Turns the Impeachment Hearings into a Soap Opera (Watch)

    “Saturday Night Live” kicked off its Nov. 16 episode with a take on the biggest news story of the previous week (and foreseeable future): the impeachment hearings. But another big story of the week, especially in Hollywood, was how NBC’s last remaining daytime drama, “Days of our Lives,” had let its actors out of their [...]

  • Andy Cohen attends BravoCon's "Watch What

    'The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City' to Debut in 2020

    Bravo announced Saturday during its first annual BravoCon that a tenth “Real Housewives” series, “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” will debut in 2020. Bravo host and “Real Housewives” executive producer Andy Cohen made the announcement during a panel titled “Ask Andy” at the NYC convention. “We’ve always tried to choose a city that [...]

  • Sterling K. Brown on His Oscar

    Sterling K. Brown on His Oscar Buzz for 'Waves': 'Kind of Surreal'

    Sterling K. Brown can’t quite comprehend the awards attention he’s receiving for his work in the A24 drama “Waves.” “If the Academy sees fit to put me in a category with people who I absolutely adore, I will pee all over myself, dude” the Emmy winner says on the latest episode of “The Big Ticket.” [...]

  • TV News Roundup: 45th Annual Humanitas

    TV News Roundup: 45th Annual Humanitas Nominees Announced

    In today’s TV news roundup, Humanitas has released the finalists for the 45th Annual Humanitas Prize, and YouTube announced a new beauty competition series hosted by James Charles.  CASTINGS Jason Kennedy has been named as the host of E!’s new series “In The Room.“ The “E! News” host will bring viewers inside celebrity homes for [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Viacom Extends 'The Office,' 'Parks and Recreation' Syndication Deals

    “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” reruns will continue to air on Viacom linear networks for the foreseeable future. The company announced that it has reached a new deal with NBCUniversal to keep “The Office” on Comedy Central through 2021. The series will then air in a non-exclusive window on Viacom Media Networks through 2025. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content