Two Spanish TV stations set to merge: report
Two private Spanish television channels are close to announcing a merger following a new law easing such operations as the industry is hit by falling advertising revenues, a report said on Thursday.
The business daily La Gaceta de los Negocios quoted sources close to the negotiations as saying the Cuatro channel, which is owned by media giant Prisa, and La Sexta, held by rival group Mediapro, are expected to announce the deal soon.
The government in February passed a law which eliminated a 5.0 percent limit on cross shareholdings at TV broadcasters.
The law is intended to ease sector mergers at a time when Spain's media is being hammered by the country's worst recession in over five decades which seen advertising revenues drop sharply.
Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's Socialist government last month threw broadcasters another lifeline with the announcement that it will "drastically reduce" the amount of advertising allowed on the country's two public television stations.
There are currently four private free-to-air television channels in Spain -- Antena 3, Cuatro, Telecinco and La Sexta -- that operate alongside the two public television stations, TVE1 and TVE2.