Spain profile - Media

Newspaper stand Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption 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

Image copyright El Pais


  • 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

News agencies