The current economic crisis is not doing Spain's TV companies any favours. Quality is suffering, with commissioners and channel bosses spending less per hour on productions, says a local study.

According to a report from consultancy Barlovento Comunicaciůn, 79 out of 90 production and distribution companies, when asked, agreed that on-screen quality had suffered.

The directors added that as well as cheaper output, 63% of them indicated the volume of orders and commissions are down and 51% of them warn there are more and more delays in payments for past productions.

Those questioned predicted things will get worse. Budgets are down 14% this year on entertainment and news content, and another 14% for fiction. They predict that regional TV will suffer 16% on entertainment and 24% for news and current affairs programming. Thematic channels are looking to spend 13% less on their programming, and expect a 22% fall-off in documentary and factual budgets. Animation is also being squeezed, with expectations of a 22% fall.

Ricardo Vaca, the company's president, said "one of the goals of the country's audiovisual output is to produce programming with the same or even higher quality standards, but at a lower cost since the production margin's of the companies have reduced significantly". He also warned that the TV networks can't reduce the quality of their programs since the viewer is already used to a certain level of quality. If that quality suffered then the networks would start losing audience share.

From Rapid News and various other cources