Atresmedia and Mediaset, fined by the CNMC for covert advertising and changing their programming

The groups Atresmedia and Mediaset have received sanctions from the CNMC (National Commission for Markets and Competition). In the case of the owner of Antena 3 and laSexta, the fine comes from a case of undercover advertising. For the group that owns networks such as Telecinco or Cuatro, the fine is due to a unanticipated programming change.

Atresmedia and Mediaset, fined by the CNMC

For Atresmedia, the penalty amounts to the figure of 183,000 euros due to a violation of article 18.2 of the General Law of Audiovisual Communication (LGCA). The offense would consist of a case of disguised advertising, that is, a way of promoting products on television at a time when information or entertainment is being offered. According to this law, the viewer must be aware at all times that they are consuming advertising, either through a notice, a badge, etc.

Atresmedia would not have complied with this article of the LGCA by promoting an article from El Corte Inglés on both Antena 3 and laSexta (specifically, his roscón de Reyes) on January 2, 2020. This promotion would have been carried out in the program ‘Your face sounds to me’ without proper signage, as well as in the self-promotion of the Atresplayer Premium streaming service. This would have cost the media group the aforementioned sanction.

Mediaset is also sanctioned

In the case of the owner of Telecinco and Cuatro, the sanction is a unanticipated programming change. On May 13, 2020, Telecinco made a programming change in ‘Survivors: Last Hour’ without complying with the minimum time to notify of said change, which are three days in advance.

The media group would have breached article 6.2 of the LGCA, according to which the programming can only be changed suddenly due to events beyond the control of the provider of the service or an event of high importance or great importance that it was necessary to report. Since none of these assumptions were met, the CNMC has sanctioned Mediaset with a fine of 49,000 eurosAlthough both groups may file contentious-administrative appeals before the National High Court within two months after the day following notification.