The decade marks its end and the television of tomorrow promises new revolutions, both in technology and content, with the settlement of digital platforms and the globality of the Internet, but the most immediate future is somewhat murky, at least in Spain. The contents of the generalist television seem anchored for years, the risk is minimal, the patience barely exists and the audiences are less and less easy to assess since the spectators have more possibilities when choosing what to see, when, where and how.
2020 in our country will be the year in which traditional chains must define their position vis-à-vis the new market players, in which Disney + will land in a panorama in which digital platforms can no longer count on the fingers of a hand and in which the future of the necessary public television is more uncertain than ever.
Entertainment. The year will begin without any edition of Big Brother in sight. The Telecinco program showed months ago that in its anonymous version, after 18 seasons, it was exhausted and the controversy over an alleged sexual abuse (pending trial) caused many important advertisers to retire in early December from the famous version . For now, GH Duo, which was to be released in the first quarter of the year, has been suspended.
The programs have been on the grill for a long time. Survivors, also in Telecinco, it will arrive in its 19 edition in spring. The 1 premieres the eleventh installment of Triumph operation in two decades on January 12. The prime time will be full of new editions of The voice (Antenna 3), MasterChef (The 1) or Got talent (Telecinco). Even Pass word, which Mediaset had to stop issuing recently for a court ruling, will have a new life in Antena 3.
Among the novelties, Antena 3 has announced a new bet for its grid, The Masked Singer (a success in their home country, South Korea, and the United States), in which celebrities sing hidden under masks and costumes and the judges have to guess who they are because of their artistic aptitudes. Mediaset will take advantage of the momentary absence of Big Brother to release in Cuatro and Telecinco The island of temptations, where several romantic couples will be tested.
Platforms. Every month, digital services such as Amazon Prime Video, Filmin, HBO Spain, YouTube, Sky, Apple TV + or Netflix premiere in Spain dozens of series, movies and documentaries. Too many platforms? Some experts predict that 2020 will be the beginning of the union of some of them and that things like Apple buy Netflix or Disney could happen. In Spain, Disney + landed on March 31, with its catalog of classic products, Pixar, Fox, Marvel and Star Wars (including the phenomenon series The Mandalorian). And it remains pending to see what happens with HBO Max, the service on-line that will offer in the US the channel of Game of Thrones and Warner and if he will arrive in Europe.
Private general chains have opted in 2019 to offer their programs on their own payment platforms, without advertising and, sometimes, in advance. Mediaset even has one for football. 2020 will be the year that will determine if it ensures that the public is willing to pay for them. In TVE the challenge is to achieve a digital transformation that allows viewers to use the internet to watch their programming without hindrance. In Italy, the public channel RAI has just triumphed on its platform with a variety program broadcast live and that has attracted millions of viewers to its digital offer.
sports. Open broadcasts of major sporting events always take up a large part of the list of the most watched broadcasts at the end of the year. In 2020 there are two events that will mark the year: the European Football Championship (from June 12 to July 12) that will be seen on the Mediaset channels and the Tokyo Olympic Games (between July 24 and August 9) , which will broadcast TVE after will be approved in extremis a budget item of around 50 million euros so that the evidence can be seen, as has always happened, on public television.
Pending issues. 2019 leaves open questions that must begin to find an arrangement in 2020. One of them is the most immediate future of Spanish Television. After close the year with its worst annual historical data (9.4% share), the public entity must leave the interim to consider, with guarantees, how to continue being a means of reference and what kind of products to offer.
The next year comes with a great challenge for open television: to ensure that the activity of digital platforms is regulated so that they have obligations and rights similar to those of traditional operators. The Union of Associated Commercial Televisions (UTECA) will focus its efforts on demanding from the next government legislation that regulates fiscal, investment and advertising aspects as well as the protection of minors. Mediaset will also be the protagonist with the sought fusion of the Spanish subsidiary with the Italian parent company as soon as the open confrontation with its French partner Vivendi is resolved.
The international success on Netflix of Paper house (the fourth part will be released in April), a series that originally did not stand out in audience, represents the turning point that Spanish fiction needed. The US platform ended up opening a headquarters in Madrid to produce more series (Elite, The neighbor, Hache, The cable girls, High seas…), all with the international standard format, that is, shorter seasons and episodes.
For reasons of audience measurement and to try to engage the viewer in the chain, the generalist television series have for years had a longer duration than normal (about 70 minutes), a format that complicates their export (Netflix reissued Paper house so that the episodes will not last more than an hour) and that sometimes despairs the spectators in a prime time It starts very late.
The chains have taken note and Atresmedia and TVE have begun offering fictions of less than an hour. 2020 will determine whether viewers, increasingly accustomed to the international format, feel relief from these measures or is irrelevant.
HBO Spain will break strong in 2020 with original fictions after the premiere of Foodie love, by Isabel Coixet, this December: Homeland it will arrive in May and the fantastic series of Álex de la Iglesia, 30 coins, will arrive at the end of the year.
The arrival of these new actors, to which Prime Video joins, has given a boost to the sector, both in its contents, as in the training of professionals and job creation.
And it will always remain Tell me, the longest running series of prime time Spanish, which next January 2 premieres the second part of its twentieth season.