Spain profile

Newspaper stand Spain's media industry has expanded rapidly in recent years

Broadcasting in Spain has witnessed a significant expansion in recent years with the emergence of new commercial operators and the launch of digital services.

The cable and satellite TV markets have grown and Spain has made the switch to digital terrestrial TV (DTT).

Home-produced dramas, reality shows and long-running "telenovelas" are staple fare on primetime TV.

RadioTelevision Espanola (RTVE) is the public broadcaster. There are 13 regional TV stations backed by regional governments and many local stations. Multichannel TV is offered by satellite platform Digital Plus.

In 2012, media freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said the government was "reasserting control" over RTVE. It cited the removal of several journalists with a reputation for criticizing the governing Popular Party.

RSF includes Basque separatist group ETA in its list of press freedom "predators". It says several Spanish journalists still live and work under police protection because of threats.

There is a "free and lively" press, says US-based Freedom House. Ownership of daily newspapers is concentrated within large media groups.

There were more than 31.6 million internet users by June 2012, and nearly 17.6 million Facebook users by December 2012 (Internetworldstats).

The press

El Pais newspaper logo


  • TVE - public, services include national networks La Primera and La 2, satellite-delivered TVE Internacional, rolling news channel 24 Horas
  • Tele Cinco - national, commercial
  • Antena 3 - national, commercial
  • Cuatro - national, commercial


  • RNE - public, services include speech network Radio 1, cultural network Radio Clasica, youth-oriented Radio 3, news station Radio 5 Todo Noticias
  • Cadena SER - commercial, operates more than 50 national, regional stations
  • Onda Cero - commercial
  • Cadena COPE - church-controlled
  • ABC Punto Radio - commercial

News agencies

More Europe stories


Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine

  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents

  • Record playing on turntableVinyl destination

    The eight tribes of people who keep buying records

  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at RAAF Amberley airbase near Brisbane on 19 AprilIn pictures

    Fighter jets and screaming crowds for William and Kate

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world


  • Joe Ierardi playing a pianoClick Watch

    Meet the man trying to create the perfect digital piano - but is it as good as the real thing?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.