Barcelona-based content packager Media Park has taken a 3% stake in Horizonte Digital, a consortium applying for one of two new free-to-air digital terrestrial television (DTT) licences to be awarded by the Spanish government in November.
Media Park's participation in Horizonte Digital gives Telefonica, which recently bought out 25% of the Barcelona firm, a small foothold in the contest for the new DTT licences. For that reason, Media Park's stake in Horizonte has to be kept at a minimum: backers of existing private broadcasters are excluded from the contest for new licences.
Telefonica has a controlling interest in digital satellite platform Via Digital and free-to-air broadcaster Antena 3, which itself maintains a 3% stake in Media Park.
Media Park, in turn, owns a 15% share of Spain's sole DTT operator to date, Quiero TV, which launched last May, and produces thematic channels for Quiero as well as for rival Via Digital. Media Park also recently entered feature film production.
Telefonica's investment Media Park was widely seen as politically motivated. Telefonica paid a reported $60m (PTS10,500m), as much as five times what the shares were valued at the time. Media Park's other shareholders include Grupo Equip (29.2%), Iberdrola (19.13%), Skandia MI (11.22%), CCRTV (11.22%), Antena 3 (3.19%) and Philips (1.4%).
Media Park is currently studying the possibility of launching an initial public offer on at least a part of its shares by the end of the year.