Spain to reduce commercials on public TV
The two public television stations will be allowed a maximum of nine minutes of advertisements per hour once the new regulation comes into effect.MADRID – Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said on Tuesday that his government will "drastically reduce" the amount of advertising allowed on the country's two public television stations.
"We will approve and send to parliament a new audio-visual law and a drastic reduction in advertising on public television," he told parliamentarians.
The prime minister did not specify by how much the limits on advertising on public television would be reduced or when the new limits will come into effect.
Spain's two public television stations, TVE1 and lower-rated TVE2, are currently allowed a maximum of 10 minutes of adverts per hour. The limit will be reduced to nine minutes in 2009.
Unlike in many other European nations such as Britain and France, in Spain there is no television licence fee. Public television channels are instead financed by a mixture of advertising revenues and direct state aid.
In January, Spanish Association of Advertisers urged the government to limit the number of commercials which TV stations can air because it said "saturation advertising" was hurting the effectiveness of their messages.
It asked the government to enforce a European Union-wide limit of 12 minutes of adverts per hour, which is routinely violated by the country's private broadcasters.
In 2008, the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, warned Spain that it faced court action for failing to comply with the advertising limits, which aim to prevent viewers from having their shows interrupted excessively and promote television quality across Europe.
AFP / Expatica