EntertainmentFrom the 'chanelazo' in Eurovision to advertising on Netflix:...

From the ‘chanelazo’ in Eurovision to advertising on Netflix: the great television milestones of 2022

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Each person in Spain has spent in 2022 more than three hours a day on average in front of the television. It will be more than 1,100 hours by the end of the year. For this reason, reviewing a year of television is reviewing a very important part of our lives.

It only took until the end of January to find the first big television event of 2022 that managed to jump beyond the small screen. With the Benidorm Fest, TVE showed that it was still capable of creating an event that would bring together the masses and dominate the social conversation. The Eurovision representative was chosen in a festival divided into two semifinals and one final, which was followed by almost three million viewers live and generated a stir that reached Congress. The result is already history: Chanel won thanks, above all, to the vote of the professional jury, beating Rigoberta Bandini and Tanxugueiras, favorites of the public. The clamor of an alleged tongo spread through the networks and even the board of directors of the public corporation evaluated whether the lyrics of the song, SloMo, complied with the principles of equality. In any case, the chanelazo was a reality and Chanel Terrero seemed little less than the villain of Spain. But, like the stories that engage in fiction, this one also includes a twist, although for that we will have to wait until May.

Entrevias premiered in February and, despite playing in difficult terrain (Spanish series suffer a lot on free-to-air television and Telecinco, the channel that broadcasts it, is not going through its best moment), it achieved a higher average in its first season to 1.7 million viewers with a neighborhood thriller with Jose Coronado and Luis Zahera leading the cast. Open-air Spanish fiction has had other successes this year, such as Mentiras and Alba, on Antena 3, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the place for Spanish series is on pay platforms and channels, where titles such as La ruta, Intimidad, I don’t like driving, Rapa or La Unidad gave a lot to talk about. Another small miracle is the one whose protagonist is Saber y ganar, which celebrated its 25th anniversary on the air in February. The contest, already history of Spanish television,

Before the first quarter closed, two television earthquakes shook one of Telecinco’s bastions: Salvame. Mediaset dismissed Paz Padilla arguing that on January 20 she left the program prematurely. In June, the communication group and the presenter agreed to resume the contract “on exactly the same terms.” Padilla continues without a program on the channel. In March, Salvame was back in the spotlight due to a flurry of changes that included new directors and sections and the departure of Carlota Corredera. Even a police operation splashed several names on the program. In addition, the audience data was no longer what it was before, with some proposals from Antena 3 prevailing. 2022 ends and Salvame is still there. With a final installment issued on the Mitele Plus payment platform, but it survives.

Movements on the platforms

The waters are also troubled on the platforms. In the first two quarters of the year, Netflix lost subscribers, a historical fact that led the company to implement emergency measures. By November, the platform, which had made a hallmark of its absence of advertising, had already launched a new, cheaper plan in 12 countries, which includes ads during viewing. The same strategy will be used by Disney+ in 2023 to try to attract new customers and have higher income, showing that the streaming war had entered a new stage. This year, in addition, Warner announced that Discovery + and HBO Max will merge into a single service, the CNN+ news platform disappeared after just one month of life and there have been layoffs in various streaming companies while series and movies have disappeared from services such as HBO Max to facilitate their possible sale to third parties. All in order to try, finally, to be profitable.

May has an essential television date every year with Eurovision. Chanel arrived at the festival after having traveled the hero’s journey: with a lot of work behind her, she had gradually won over the most skeptical and Spain, finally, went with everything to the contest. A spectacular staging, an impressive choreography and an outstanding execution led the Spanish representative to a great third place that tasted like a moral victory. The real one was for Ukraine, boosted by unprecedented public support. The Eurodrama this time was served by six countries whose suspicious votes of the professional jury were recalculated in the final.

Two documentary series looked at the Spanish Royal House this year, Los Borbones (Atresplayer Premium) and Save the King (HBO Max), while fiction still does not dare to get into flour. Yes, Imanol Arias got into some puddles when in an interview on local television he charged against TVE for the treatment given to Cuentame como paso. The producer of the series was unchecked and the actor had to apologize. Months later, the fate of the fiction that tells the story of the Alcantara, and of recent Spain, remains up in the air amid rumors of an imminent end.

Surprise signings

Summer was the time for fiction, with the return of Stranger Things, the end of Better Call Saul and the successful full broadcast of Commissioner Montalbano on La 2. But another bomb came just before television went into summer mode : Sonsoles Onega, one of the most representative faces of Mediaset, signed for Atresmedia, the competition. She has not been the only presenter who has changed homes this year: Ion Aramendi and Diego Losada left La 1 to go to Mediaset. But Onega’s movement was much more famous and caused a small television earthquake in the corridors of the Telecinco group.

The announcement that Ana Blanco would not present the news on La 1 again knew at the end of an era. The news came at the end of an August in which the main TVE channel repeated its audience record low and Telecinco fell to its lowest monthly record. That has been the cross of the audience results on Spanish free-to-air television. The face has been taken by Antena 3, which will complete a year as leader for the first time after having managed to turn the tables.

The last months of the year have been no less turbulent. The resignation of Jose Manuel Perez Tornero after losing the support of PSOE and Unidas Podemos on the Board of Directors and the subsequent appointment of Elena Sanchez Caballero as the new interim president of the corporation, was followed by the news that Paolo Vasile would leave his position as CEO of Mediaset Espana at the end of the year, an exit that tastes like the end of an era on Spanish television. Autumn began agitated in reality, while fiction presented the great battle of epic fantasy with the parallel broadcast of The House of the Dragon, prequel to Game of Thrones, and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, two blockbusters that met on friendly terms.

Controversies in maximum audience

In the last months of the year, the Spanish prime time slot still had some great moments, from the soap opera Tamara Falco-Inigo Onieva commented by the protagonist herself in El hormiguero to the debut of Joaquin Sanchez, a Betis player, as a successful presenter , the enormous commotion generated by a statement by Patricia Conde against MasterChef or Pablo Motos’ diatribe against a campaign from the Ministry of Equality in which he felt alluded to. Meanwhile, in the mornings, Ana Rosa Quintana had returned to her program, from which she had been absent for almost a year due to breast cancer.

But if something continues to attract Spanish viewers to lifelong television, it is football. 74.7% of the Spanish population connected for at least one minute with a World Cup game in Qatar. The matches broadcast by La 1 achieved an average of 5,082,000 viewers (37.7% audience share), according to a report by the consulting firm Barlovento Comunicación based on data from the Kantar audit firm. The matches of the Spanish team gathered an average of 10,237,000 viewers (62.8% share). More than 13 million viewers watched, adding La 1 and World Goal, as Spain was defeated by Morocco on penalties in the round of 16 of the competition.

In the farewell chapter, the death of Jesus Quintero invited us to remember his work as an innovator of the interview genre, that of José Luis Balbin brought to mind the iconic gatherings of La clave and the EGB generation was left orphaned by the death of Claudio Biern Boyd, creator of drawings such as David the gnome, Willy Fog and D’Artacan. The journalist Angel Casas, the actors Tony Sirico and Robert Morse and the actresses Rosa Mariscal, Silvia Gambino and Isabel Torres also left us this year.

When it seemed that 2022 could not have any more script twists on television, there was still the final surprise: Anne Igartiburu will not present the chimes of La 1 after 17 years. Ana Obregon and Los Morancos will do it. Who will repeat, already converted into one more tradition of these dates, will be Cristina Pedroche and her dress, the great enigma of Spanish New Year’s Eve. Because, in such a changing television, there are still things that keep us glued to the screen.

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