Television What is behind the latest "failures" of RTVE? Millions in programs that do not even reach 8% audience

On February 23, the 'popular' deputy Carmen Riolobos launched a question to the interim president of RTVE, Elena Sánchez, in Congress: "How do you assess the acceptance of the new season of RTVE?"

Television What is behind the latest "failures" of RTVE? Millions in programs that do not even reach 8% audience

On February 23, the 'popular' deputy Carmen Riolobos launched a question to the interim president of RTVE, Elena Sánchez, in Congress: "How do you assess the acceptance of the new season of RTVE?". Sánchez tried to sweep home and put on the table the programs that are doing the numbers that justify their costs, as is the case of El Cazador, the contest whose amount in 2022 rose to 10.8 million euros, or La Promise, the series that in the afternoon slot has pushed La 1 to rise 2.2 points in its screen share and the only product, according to Prado del Rey sources, that "is working" and "did not even come from Elena Sánchez's hand, but it was signed by the previous president of the Public Corporation, José Manuel Pérez Tornero".

What the deputy was referring to is the "failures" of the public corporation this season, which are not few: Let's get along, Afternoon Plan, Tele Days, All against 1... "RTVE has a budget of 1,193.9 million euros", of which, according to Riolobos, "in just one year it has spent 200 on the purchase of external programs that have obtained a ridiculous share of 7.8%".

The programs of this season are not giving much less the joys or the hearings that were signed. For example, Plan de tarde has lost 400,000 viewers since it was in operation; Days of TV, Julia Otero's program, 540,000; All against 1, canceled last week, 440,000; We are going to get along well obtained 500,000, a very poor 4.6% share in its premiere, to the point that its presenter even said: "It is seen less than Teletext", .

Elena Sánchez then recognized these "failures", described them as "failed bets" and included among them programs that have cost the public corporation a lot of money. Probably the most notorious is Vamos a llevarnos bien, the program presented by Ana Morgade for which RTVE paid more than 3.5 million for 10 installments of the show, produced by The Pool, the producer of Andrés Varela Entrecanales, director of the group editor of El País, in charge, along with Secuoya, of the docuseries on Pedro Sánchez and Moncloa. It only had one broadcast. The program was canceled a few hours after its debut due to its catastrophic audience data.

I wish we had a crystal ball to know how content would work and always get it right

"I wish we had a crystal ball that would allow us to know how content is going to work and always hit what the public wants," said Elena Sánchez in Congress. Indeed, on television there is no crystal ball and that is why programs are cancelled, changed or shortened. However, in the case of Ana Morgade, RTVE sources assure that, even with a crystal ball and already knowing the result, "they are looking for a way to recover the format" with another person in charge, something that Ana Morgade herself had already hinted at by announcing the end of the show and his departure from any subsequent projects.

It is not the only fiasco for RTVE this season. Sánchez herself recognized in the Mixed Commission for parliamentary control of the Spanish Radio and Television Corporation and its companies that Días de Tele, the program that has brought Julia Otero's return to La 1, and for which RTVE has paid for 13 deliveries to LACOproductora, a Prisa group company, 5.5 million euros, has also been a "failed proposal", although it is still on the air despite its low audience data.

"These failures are being lived with a lot of schizophrenia", they affirm from the public channel, and point directly to the Julia Otero program, since "if what was signed by contract were fulfilled, having been below 12% of the share in its premiere and below 7% for the rest of the deliveries, should have already been raised, and it is not done so that the producer collects".

If the 5.5 million Days of Tele are added, plus the 3.5 million of Let's Get Along, plus the amount that has been paid for All against 1 -data on the 2023 contracts have not yet been given-, Of the 42 million euros approved last October by the Board of Directors for the contracting of new formats, more than 10 million have gone into these two "failures".

While waiting for RTVE to publish its latest contracts and tenders on its Transparency portal, RTVE invested 74.6 million euros in entertainment programs in 2022, 50% of what was spent in Tornero's time.

Among them were El Cazador, MasterChef, with a cost of 7 million euros, Incredible Duos, for which 9 million euros were paid and for which it is unknown, according to its own director, Eva Tovar, whether or not there will be a new one. season, or Mapi, one of the highest cost programs in 2022 (4,458,008 euros) and which ended up being relegated to Clan after another audience fiasco.

Each program, produced by Mediacrest, cost 73,000 euros. The initial contract, still with Tornero in charge, was for 60 programs that would be broadcast in access time to try to compete with El Hormiguero, but more than weak audience data -it garnered an average of 6.5% audience share - led RTVE to relegate it to Clan and to cancel it when only 36 installments had been issued, 22 less than those that were signed.

The tactic is increasingly recurrent in a channel that is experiencing a real audience crisis, especially in prime time, although Elena Sánchez insists on stating that "so far this season, the Radiotelevisión Española group has improved by 9 tenths, with a 15.3%, better data than in the two previous seasons". The reality, according to the recent data published for the month of February, is that La 1 fails to raise its head. The chain has lost seven tenths in February compared to the month of January, from 9.4% to 8.7%.

"José Pablo López -director of General Content at RTVE- is trying and we want it to work, of course, but it is not happening", add sources from Prado del Rey, who point out as one of the main problems "the hyperactive programming that is he's doing by moving the grill haphazardly".

The ups and downs of the Zeppelin All Against 1 contest have paid dearly. The changes in the schedule of the program decided by RTVE to program the Benidorm Fest have ended with its cancellation after only seven deliveries.

There is a lot of concern about hyper-programming being done by haphazardly moving the grid

The contest presented by Rodrigo Vázquez and Raúl Gómez opened with a more than encouraging 9.6% share, which fell below 4.5% when it returned to its time slot and day of origin after the Benidorm Fest broadcast. And that the festival has not worked as expected either. Less audience at a higher cost, since RTVE paid 4,280,982.5 euros for Benidorm Fest 2 compared to 3,283,506.49 euros for the first festival, according to the data provided by the Corporation to Newtral. In total, 997,476 euros more between one and the other.

The audiences were far from those achieved in the 2022 edition. On this occasion, the final that proclaimed Blanca Paloma the winner brought together only a 14.7% audience share compared to 22% in the first edition, but managed to rise in the final, according to sources from the chain, "because it is Saturday and because it starts at 10:00 p.m. and not at 10:50 p.m. like the semifinals."

"There is a lot of concern about these changes in direction on the grid that do not make sense and that programs that were working are loaded," say the same sources. In fact, on RTVE this is common. Years ago, one of the MasterChef Junior editions lost a good part of its audience after the chain decided to modify its broadcast day and slot several times. The fear in the corporation is that the same thing will happen with The Promise, scheduled this Thursday in access time to drag its audience to the newly released Cover Night.

"It is killing something that works to fight against something that is not going to be overcome," say internal sources, in relation to the desire to overcome El Hormiguero. "I don't know if we should enter the private game. And if we do, we should do it with a similar program, but in the public style," they add.

Scheduling problems are not only seen within the corporation. There are many external producers who do not understand how programming is decided or why changes are made that have "no explanation."

In fact, as confirmed by sources from the public entity to EL MUNDO, RTVE has prepared a daily series for access time, Cuatro estrellas, by Daniel Écija, which is scheduled to be broadcast from Monday to Friday between 10:00 p.m. and 10:50 p.m. "The question we have to ask ourselves is whether we can compete with El Hormiguero with a daily series. It is doing the competition a favor," they conclude from RTVE.

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