The entrance of Mediaset’s Spanish subsidiary Telecinco into Prisa’s pay-TV business Sogecable has been dealt a major blow after the competition authority (Comisión Nacional de la Competencia) announced plans to hold separate enquiries into the pay-TV business and plans for Telecinco to also purchase the free-to-air channel Cuatro.
At the centre of CNC’s concerns is the proposal for Telecinco to take 22% of the pay-TV platform Digital+ where the dominant telco Telefonica already has a 21% holding. As would be expected there is concern that pay-TV movie and sports rights might be concentrated in the hands of a single company.
In a statement, Prisa said CNC had already given it a preliminary acceptance of conditions proposed by Telecinco to avoid possible antitrust problems.
Separately, Manuel Polanco has been named as the new president of Sogecable, replacing Rodolfo Martin Villa. Three new, but familiar, directors will also join the board: Pierre Lescure, who was CEO of Canal+ France for over ten years as well as vice-president of Canal+ España (subsequently Sogecable) from 1989 to 2002; Markus Tellenbach, president and CEO of TVN Group, Poland’s leading media group; and Fernando Martínez, secretary-general of Prisa who headed Sogecable’s Management, Planning and Finance division from 1998 until 2009.