A Swedish company could become the majority owner of Spain's third digital pay TV platform, Quiero TV, if rumored negotiations end in a deal. Telecoms firm Auna (Retevision) is understood to be in talks to sell its 49% stake in Quiero, Europe's second-ever digital terrestrial TV platform, to Swedish global savings company Skandia.
If the sale is completed, Skandia's stake in Quiero would actually rise above 50% due to an additional indirect participation it has through Barcelona-based content producer/packager Media Park. Skandia owns an 11.22% interest in Media Park, which in turn holds 15% of Quiero. As a result, the Auna-Skandia transaction coud run against of Spain's private TV law, which precludes a single company from owning more than 50% of a broadcaster.
Under general manager Ildefonso de Miguel, Quiero has surpassed 210,000 subscribers on its recently amplified 15-channel offer, representing 11% of Spain's digital pay TV market and 7.2% of the country's overall pay TV market. The platform still trails well behind rival digital satellite services Canal Satelite Digital (more than 1.05 million subscriberss) and Via Digital (above 630,000 subscribers).
Quiero's shareholders currently include Auna (49%), Sofisclav 9 (15%), Media Park (15%) and Carlton Media (7.5%). The platform expects to break even in 2004, and will celebrate its first anniversary on May 4.