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Mediaset Spain will consider 2014 World Cup rights bid after Euro ratings success

Spanish broadcaster Mediaset Spain feels “obligated” to consider acquiring the rights for the 2014 Fifa World Cup following the ratings success of the Uefa Euro 2012 tournament, according to the group’s director general of content, Manuel Villanueva.

Mediaset broadcast Spain’s victory at this summer’s European Championships via its commercial channels Cuatro and Telecinco. The latter channel’s coverage of Spain’s 4-0 victory over Italy in the final on July 1 attracted 15.481 million viewers, an 83.4-per-cent share. The team’s semi-final penalty shoot-out triumph over Portugal drew an even higher audience, of 18.141 million viewers. The peak audience in the semi-final – 19 million during the penalty shoot-out – was a Spanish television audience record.

Spanish news agency Efe reports that Villanueva said the ratings success of Euro 2012, plus the ability of sports content to “differentiate” the Mediaset group from other Spanish broadcasters, are the two main reasons why the company felt “obliged” to consider bidding for the 2014 World Cup, which is being hosted by Brazil.

However, Villanueva said that he hopes Fifa is aware of the weakening economy when considering offers for World Cup rights. He said that the market situation is now different from when Mediaset acquired the rights to Euro 2012, adding that the advertising market is now “very low (because of) the situation with the country’s economy.”