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October 2017

Spanish Public Service Broadcasters Exploring Governance and Revenue Sources

Masayuki Saito

In Europe quite a few public service broadcasters are reviewing their governance and revenue sources. Spain has also started moving forward to reform the country’s public service broadcasting. Spanish public broadcasting system is unique in that the nationwide broadcaster and regional broadcasters co-exist. With diverse languages and cultures, each area has a strong sense of autonomy, and regional public broadcasters symbolize the identity of the locality. In recent years, however, as the market has become more oligopolistic, dominated by major commercial broadcasters, public broadcasters’ influence is declining. Against this backdrop, efforts to revise the legislation are underway in an attempt to eliminate political intervention into public broadcasting and regain public confidence in it. However, with a long history of dictatorship, and of government-controlled television, some people still mixed up public service broadcasting with government-operated broadcasting, which is pointed out to be one of the most difficult issues faced with Spanish public broadcasters. The ongoing pursuit of better public broadcasting in Spain starkly reminds us that public service broadcasting is rooted in democracy and should be based on public interest and understanding.

The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research


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