Shareholders of Spanish telecoms operator Auna (Retevision) approved a capital injection of Euros720m (pts120bn) in a move apparently intended to stall the potential sale by Telecom Italia of its 27% stake.
However, the boost might not be enough to save pay TV platform Quiero TV, 49% owned by Auna, from the chopping block. Local reports have it that shareholders are pushing for a sale of Auna's stake in Quiero, possibly even before year's end.
The troubled DTT platform has struggled to attract subscribers against stiff competition from more established digital satellite rivals Canal Satelite Digital (CSD) and Via Digital. Quiero has little more than 200,000 subscribers versus CSD's one million plus and Via's 750,000.
Juan Jose Nieto, executive president of Via Digital backer Admira (Telefonica Media), recently acknowledged that his company was "studying an offer" to become the principal content provider for Quiero. CSD backer Sogecable is understood to be considering the same offer, if not an outright purchase of part of the platform. French company Bouygues' name has been repeated in local press reports as a potential buyer for Quiero.
Any collaborations between rival platforms in Spain inevitably spark new whispers of a pending merger. Analysts have long claimed there are neither subscribers nor content to sustain two, much less three, pay TV platforms in Spain.