In 1988 the Law for Private Television Broadcasting was approved by Spanish parliament. Three licenses were initially awarded. Soon thereafter, in 1990, three channels started broadcasting: Antena 3, Berlusconi-related Tele 5 and, against all odds, a pay channel, Canal + Spain. This article focuses on sports programming in the beginning of Canal + Spain. First, it offers an account of the Spanish television landscape in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Then, it scrutinizes the arrival of private television within the Spanish mediascape, examining thus the launching of Canal + by paying attention to the specificity of the Spanish audiovisual market. At the same time, it explores the transnational circulation of formats and professionals across Europe, especially in connection with the French Canal +, since it was a central element of the Spanish channel’s implementation. Second, it analyzes the types of live sports broadcasts as well as other sports programming such as talk shows in Canal + during the early 1990s in order to account for their importance in creating a unique kind of product designed to appeal to potential subscribers. More specifically, we will argue that live football broadcasts did not only attempt to establish a clear demarcation with the old-fashioned image and soundscapes of traditional television but also aimed at culturally appealing to a urbanite, cultivated spectator, precisely the type of viewer Canal + tried to recruit in its early days. Therefore, we will discuss how technological excellence and spectacle became tools for the expression of specific cultural values.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Canal +, European Television, Spanish Television, football broadcast, technology
Publisher Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Journal VIEW Journal
Rights Each article is copyrighted © by its author(s) and is published under license from the author(s). When a paper is accepted for publication, authors will be requested to agree with the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Netherlands License.
Note VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture; Vol 6, No 11 (2017): History of Private and Commercial Television in Europe; 33-40
Rodríguez Ortega, Vicente, & Romero Santos, Rubén. (2017). Canal + Spain & Live Football Broadcasts: A Whole Different Game. VIEW Journal, 6(11), 33–40.