This thesis inspects the changes that the Spanish television’s structure has undergone since the moment of the digital switchover in 2010 until the release of the first digital dividend and the launch of the last free-to-air channels in 2016. Within this reference period, Atresmedia and Mediaset, the two foremost players leading the free-to-air TV market before the arrival of DTT, strengthened their positions through two large acquisitions. These market concentration processes were influenced by the national and European media policy, as well as by the global dynamics of the audiovisual sector, and they ended up reinforcing the private duopoly in the Spanish market. Besides, the European regulation over the radio spectrum (including the very digitalisation and the first digital dividend) entailed the emergence of new players entering the free-to-air TV market, which nevertheless have not reached a relevant role in the market. In parallel, technological advances, along with the convergence between the audiovisual and the telecommunications and Internet sectors, have fostered the rise of new forms of distributing TV content via Over-the-Top, therefore traditional and emergent players are keen on taking part on the business. In the Spanish case, on the one hand, telecoms have resumed their interest and participation over the pay-TV business after a period of lethargy. On the other hand, emergent players (which are mainly global) have barged into the market and they appear to slightly erode the Spanish television market’s structure through their highly fragmented long tail distribution model. Form a hybrid approach that brings together technology, economy and media policy, this piece of research starts summarizing the years of analogic television in Spain, its main actors, regulation and structure. Subsequently, it defines and classifies the traditional and new actors in the Spanish television market and their position and performance within it between 2010 and 2016. Moreover, it explains the implications resulting from the technological and regulatory changes that affected the television industry after the digital switchover, so as to determine the features and trends in which the transformation particularizes between 2010 and 2016. Finally, in order to identify the common dynamics of the European context, and to highlight the particularities of the Spanish scenario, this thesis also reviews the English, French and Italian television markets during the reference period.
- Media policy