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RTVE may drop services after budget cuts

Spanish public broadcaster RTVE could be forced to close a number of its thematic channels or sell premium soccer rights after the country’s government announced plans to slash its annual budget.

The new government, which was elected at the end of 2011, is looking to cut €200 million from the broadcaster’s budget. 
This comes as Victor Calvo-Sotelo was sworn in as the new Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information Society and immediately announced plans to change RTVE’s funding model.

RTVE, which is holding an emergency meeting for its board of directors, is considering plans to allow it to bring back advertising across its channels as a way to deal with the budget cuts, although this will have a knock on effect on the commercial broadcasters that currently subsidise RTVE.

Miguel Santos Ruesga, president of RTVE’s board of directors, said it was possible that the advertising model could be revived.

Separately, Calvo-Sotelo said that the government would look again at the next phase of digital-terrestrial television rollout and digital switchover, which is planned for 2015. However, he admitted that this second migration would be a challenge.

Tags: RTVE, Spain