Spain's Sogecable and Via Digital have completed the merger of their pay TV platforms, joined in new unit Digital+, with Wednesday's integration of Telefonica-backed Via Digital into Grupo Prisa and Groupe Canal+ -backed Sogecable.
Digital+, the merged offspring of Canal Satelite Digital (CSD) and Via Digital, will be launched at the end of the month. The new line-up of channels, yet to be unveiled, will be readily accessible by existing CSD and Via Digital subscribers.
Following plans laid out in the May 8, 2002 merger agreement signed by Sogecable and Telefonica, Via Digital's backers have completed a capital amplification of Sogecable making Telefonica a 22.23% shareholder in Sogecable.
Telefonica becomes the lead shareholder in Sogecable above Prisa and Groupe Canal+, with 16.38% each, but it will have equal representation on the board of directors.
Prisa maintains responsibility for the management of Sogecable, and Telefonica agrees to hold its shares in the company for a minimum of three years.
Sogecable also houses analogue pay TV platform Canal+ as well as a host of other media interests including film producer Sogecine, sales house Sogepaq and distribution venture Warner Sogefilms.
Despite recent divestments, Telefonica still has media interests including Dutch TV heavyweight Endemol and Spanish film producer Lolafilms.