Market Watch

MTV Spain Launches Free to Air DTT Channel



MTV Spain launched a new free-to-air DTT channel on September 16th after striking a deal with Spanish media group Vocento. MTV Spain will host a range of international content including shows such as ABC's Cougar Town and local in-house production, such as reality documentary series Ahora o Nunca (Now or Never). Grupo Vocento is the owner of terrestrial channel Net TV and has been allocated a full DTT multiplex with capacity for up to four channels. The multiplex already hosts two other channels; Intereconomia and Disney Channel, alongside Net TV.

Analysis
Viacom channels MTV, MTV2 and MTVNHD are currently available via pay-TV operator Digital Plus, which has approximately 1.8m subscribers. The new MTV free-to-air entertainment channel will reach a much greater number of households as well as hitting a wider demographic than the current pay-TV channels.

Pay-TV platforms reach an estimated 4.2 million homes in Spain. The move to open-up MTV content to the free-to-air market will improve the group's household reach by as many as 10.6m homes. The popularity of free-to-view TV over pay-TV in Spain has created a market where advertising revenues can potentially be as profitable as carriage fees from subscription based channels. In 2008 Disney paid 27m Euros for a 20% share in Net TV and launched its own free-to-air ad-supported channel, while Sony has launched its own free-to-air channel, Sony Entertainment Television (SET) on DTT as well. As of May, this was replaced by AXN, which moved to a pay-TV business model. SET is still available via satellite, cable and IPTV.

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