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Spanish producers slam RTVV closure

Spanish TV producers have said the closure of regional broadcaster Radio Televisión Valenciana is one of “hardest blows” that could have been dealt to the country’s media sector and to wider Spanish society as a whole.

Last week regional authorities announced the closure of RTVV TV and radio services with the loss of 500 jobs, sparking angry protests from staff and supporters.

The Spanish producers association – Productoras Asociadas de Television de Espana (PATE) – has now added its voice to the debate with a strongly-worded statement of support for RTVV.

It noted that the impact would be felt more widely than the direct job losses with production companies, post production houses and other businesses also suffering from the closure of the broadcaster.

“The arbitrary decision has wiped out 24 years of history,” the producers association noted. “RTVV has been an indispensable vehicle to promote the culture, history, geography, social fabric and sport not only of Valencia, but also Spain. PATE want to emphasise that this closure, has written a black page in the history of Spain.”

PATE added Spain’s wider economic problems meant there was a greater need than ever for strong public broadcasting entities: “In times of crisis, like those in which we are living, the existence of a regional broadcasting is more necessary than ever, as a growth engine for the whole audiovisual industry and guarantee of plurality.”

RTVV launched in 1989 and runs two channels, Nou Televisió and Nou 24. It also operates two radio stations. The closure plan follows a huge headcount reduction announced last year when the workforce was slashed from almost 1,700 to about 500.

The regional Valencian authorities resisted a legal challenge to that cost-cutting measure and subsequently announced, last Tuesday (November 5), the full closure of RTVV.

Regional premier Alberto Fabra pointed to the broadcaster’s €1.1 billion debt at the time of the closure announcement. He is quoted as saying: “I’m not going to close a school or a hospital just to keep RTVV open.”