The Spanish commercial broadcasters Cuatro and La Sexta are close to a merger, according to a report in the newspaper La Gaceta de los negocios.
Cuatro is owned by the Spanish media group Prisa and La Sexta by the media group Mediapro. A merger between the two broadcasters is made possible by a recent change in the regulatory environment which allows such a move if their combined reach does not exceed 27% of the total audience and as long as there are three different national channels.
Rumours about possible merger talks between a number of broadcasters have been persistent in the Spanish media in the past few weeks. A deal between Cuatro and La Sexta seems likely as both tend to lean to the left of the political spectrum.
Consolidation of the Spanish broadcasting landscape is expected, especially following the possible introduction of a new law that will abolish commercials on public broadcaster RTVE and also slap a 3% turnover tax on all private stations to finance the state broadcaster.