Mediaset receives share of €15m state funding to ease advertising woes

Mediaset has received a portion of a €15m ($16.4m) cash injection from the Spanish government to ease the financial burden the commercial broadcaster faces after having lost substantial amounts in advertising funding during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Spanish government handed Mediaset the aid after ruling that the funds could be provided to ensure the company does not go out of business as advertisers pull their funding amid a lack of content.

According to newswire Europa Press the Spanish government wrote to the broadcasters, saying: “Aid amounting to €15m is approved to offset a part of the costs of providers of state-level digital terrestrial television service, derived from a period of six months certain percentages of compulsory population coverage.”

Mediaset’s sports business has, similarly to all broadcasters, been decimated by the postponement or cancellation of events the world over. 

Among Mediaset’s properties to have been affected are the Copa del Rey, a host of international basketball federation competitions and this summer’s Uefa European Championships.

Mediaset last month reported 2019 revenue figures hit by an advertising downturn. Mediaset’s 2019 gross advertising revenues in Spain were €946.2m, down from €981.6m.

Fellow free-to-air commercial broadcaster Atresmedia will also receive a portion of the funds.

Atresmedia has scaled down its acquisition of sports rights in recent years but has held rights to the Uefa Champions League (2015-18), World Wrestling Entertainment (2017-19) and the International Champions Cup (2016).

The funds come at a time of dire need as broadcasters are suffering mounting losses from advertisers pulling out.

Pay-television broadcaster Globo recently announced that it would renegotiate $114m (€103m) worth of advertising contracts after it was announced that the 2020 Olympic Games would be postponed until the following year