MADRID, SPAIN – The Spanish Tax Ministry will soon invest 100 million euros into RTVE but will only do so under certain very strict conditions. One of these appears to be for TVE to renounce their participation at Eurovision if funding is not sourced externally. Other measures include the sale of assets and the removal of financial rewards for key staff.
TVE have struggled to fund themselves since the previous government made the decision to take charge of the network and copy the model in place with the BBC in the UK. This has included the removal of advertisements on the main national channels leading to a significant loss in revenues. Interestingly the channel have continued to purchase lavish foreign dramas while cancelling or delaying production of their own programming.
Although the current president of RTVE is very much in favour of participating at Eurovision, the government are looking at relacing him with a political selection who would be less supportive of the contest. In 2012 and 2013, Warner Spain and Pullmantur were among the key supporters of Spain’s coverage and financed coverage but in 2014, Warner and TVE came to a disagreement over the result of the 2013 representative; El Sueño de Morfeo (ESDM) and the selection process was opened up to the public. Warner still have rights over the designated song and continue to release the winning single.
A viable option has appeared in the form of Atresmedia, the private television network who have been taking over many programmes previously on TVE and who would be willing to take charge of the selection process via a national final in exchange for financing coverage of the contest. This mixed system of choice has previously been seen in Germany (2010-2012) and Greece (2012-2014).
Previously another Spanish network, co-owned by RAI; Telecinco, tried to take over Eurovision coverage when it acquired “Operación Triunfo” (Fame Academy), at the time TVE clearly rejected this option. A decision on this matter will be made public in September but if the current RTVE president leaves then it looks more uncertain that Spain, or at least TVE will continue to take part in Eurovision.
PHOTO: EUROVISION.TV / EBU