TVE fined for advertising involving Olympic sponsors
The CNMC, the Spanish competition regulator has fined TVE, the Spanish public-service broadcaster, more than €1 million ($1.15 million) for various advertising violations, including promotion of Spanish Olympic sports sponsors.
TVE has two months to appeal against the sanction imposed for breaches of Spain’s General Law of Audiovisual Communication (LGCA).
The watchdog levied a fine of €341,280 on TVE for “having broadcast spot campaigns for several products whose diffusion would not be included in the advertising exceptions allowed by the funding regulation” of the network.
This relates to advertising carried in the programming of the La 1, La 2, 24H and Teledeporte channels between December 2017 and January 2018, including for sponsors of sports competitions being shown in those slots.
TVE had argued that it “would not have received any economic compensation” for the presence of these brands in its sports programming, but this defence was rejected by the CNMC, which claimed that receiving rights to show the competitions amounted to an exchange.
The public broadcaster was fined a further €729,485 for violations relating to culture sponsorship advertising campaigns.
There are fears that the ruling could further dissuade companies from sponsoring Olympic sport in Spain.
The COE, the Spanish Olympic committee, is already having to contend with a reduced budget of €22 million for the ADO Plan, its funding system for athletes, in the 2017-20 cycle ending with the Tokyo Olympic Games.
This compares with €36 million in the four-year cycle leading up the Rio 2016 games.