Rights restrictions on Digital+ purchase

Spain’s competition authority, the Comisión Nacional de la Competencia (CNC), has given Prisa permission to press ahead with the sale of 44% in DTH platform Digital+ to Telecinco and to Telefónica.

In October, the CNC gave permission for Prisa to merge its free-to-air channel Cuatro with Mediaset’s Telecinco business. However, the body was concerned that issues arising from the increased advertising take of the combined company might be aggravated were Telecinco to become a controlling shareholder in Digital+.

Further to its commitments on the advertising market, Telecinco has committed not to jointly market advertising packages with media managed by its fellow shareholders in Digital+ and any advertising sold to them will be done so at the market rate.

Limits have also been placed on the purchase of key sporting and movie rights to ensure Telecinco does not achieve dominance in both the pay-TV and free-TV sectors. The conditions remain in place for three years, with the possibility of a further two-year extension.

In a statement the indebted company said the sale, which will now complete in the next few weeks, will raise around €1,000 million. Prisa will retain 56% in the Astra-Hispasat delivered platform.