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The war of soccer reduces in a third the hiring of parties
The uncertainties on the emission of the encounter by the hard confrontation between Mediapro and Sogecable on the ownership of the rights, added to the boom of Internet and the reduction of the consumption, restrain the business

The confrontation between Mediapro and Sport Audiovisual, society controlled by Sogecable, the ownership of the rights of soccer in television, that has altered the emission of several parties during this season, begins to affect the business of the Spanish televising operators.

During the last trimester of 2007, the number of hirings of soccers match in payment by vision fell in Spain a 36%, until being placed in 4,03 million pinchazos, almost 2.2 million less than in the same period of the previous year. This period marks the beginning of the Spanish soccer season, traditionally the trimester more hard in hiring of parties.

According to the data of the last quarterly report of the Commission of the Market of Telecomunicaciones (CMT), the regulating organism of the sector, Sogecable, proprietor of the platform of television via Digital satellite +, dominates east market. The audio-visual group the past obtained between October and December of year income of 409 million Euros by its business of pay television, that supposes 77% of the market.


Distribution of market

In terms of number of subscribers, the cable platform also dominates the market. To closing of the past exercise, Digitalis + counted with 2.065 million subscribers, 54% of the total, almost the double that the operators of cable and far from Imagenio, the service of television by ADSL of Telephone, which it added 515,000 subscribers.

However, the conflict between Mediapro and Sport Audiovisual, that has had consequently the emission in open, through Sixth, of parties announced in payment by vision by Digitalis +, during a good number of days, not only have affected Sogecable. Ono, the cable operator of national scope, also has been affected by the breaches of Audio-visual Sport, society to which has bought the rights of emission of the parties of Liga. In equal situation is Imagenio, the platform via satellite of Telephone, partner of the Sogecable group with a 16% of its capital.

In spite of the reduction of the number of hirings, the income of the television grew during the third trimester of 2007, as much in quotas as in payment by vision. In this last segment, the total income increased a 13%, up to 69 million Euros, impelled by the smaller promotions and special events.

Although sources near Sogecable agree in indicating the conflict with Mediapro, partner of reference of Sixth, like the main reason for the fall of hirings, are at least other two factors that have had a significant influence in this evolution: the deceleration of the consumption in Spain and the increase of the unloadings in Internet.


Consumption

During the last months of the past year, the audio-visual services and of telecommunications have begun to notice a contraction of the demand. In the three last months of 2007, the hiring of films in payment by vision fell a 15%, up to 2.2 million pinchazos.

The audio-visual sector has not been the unique one in noticing the fall of the demand. The income of the operators by the movable telephony in the Spanish market fell a 2.1% in the fourth trimester of 2007 (up to 3,783 million) with respect to the third party, according to the data of the CMT. One is a little habitual evolution.

The sales of movable terminals in the Spanish market also have begun to stop, at least with regard to the free trade. This one is most sensible to the variation of the demand due to the conjuncture, since it directly reflects the intentions of the users. For that reason, the main manufacturers have seen with preoccupation how the sales of the past January were reduced in this segment, approximately in a 12% with respect to the same period of the previous exercise.

The business of the traditional pay television also has undergone the growth of the unloadings of contents in Internet, that have increased exponentially in Spain. The popularization of the broadband, that allows accesses of high speed, and the multiplication of vestibules which they offer soccer in direct, are affecting the traditional televising models.


(Expansion, 09/04/08)







 
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