Treinta años de la producción audiovisual en la región andaluza. Un análisis desde la Estructura Política de la Comunicación

Nuria Sánchez-Gey, Gloria Jiménez-Marín, Ramón Reig


Canal Sur Televisión (CSTV) fue el primer canal autonómico en una zona sin lengua propia. La idiosincrasia en la que se sostenía la necesidad de este ente público era la diversidad y el tamaño de Andalucía, lo que hacía indispensable un medio de comunicación para vertebrar el territorio. En 2019, CSTV cumplía 30 años. El objetivo de este trabajo es hacer una aproximación a la estructura de la producción audiovisual en Andalucía, utilizando como metodología de base el enfoque estructural. Los resultados apuntan a que CSTV ha cumplido con la obligación que recoge su normativa de fomentar el desarrollo del tejido audiovisual y el de las productoras analizadas.


For the last thirty years, Radio Televisión Andaluza has been the only audio-visual media with a regional Andalusian entity, positioning itself, since its creation, as a benchmark. In addition to the public broadcaster, in 2018 another Andalusian broadcaster was created, in this case, a private one, 7TV Andalucía. In any case, both initiatives were aimed at structuring Andalusia as an autonomous community. 

The launch of RTVA in 1987 was the germ of an audio-visual industry in Andalusia that had hitherto been almost non-existent. In this sense, RTVA meant the birth of this business fabric with the creation of 5,000 direct jobs and a turnover of some 240,000 euros per year in 1997, only 10 years after its start-up.

To this must be added the constant criticism from the point of view of economic profitability. Although Canal Sur Televisión's audience figures are not very high, in addition, in the last 30 years there has been a large increase in the number of private television channels, coupled with the debate on the need for such a number, especially at the public level, given the existence of a private offer. Coupled with this is the increase in online television consumption through digital platforms, which draws audiences away from traditional television.

The main objective of this study is based on the need to have an overview of the audio-visual industry in the Andalusian region, and to map the current audio-visual panorama in Andalusia from a structural analysis correlated with the political economy. Thus, the objectives of this study are to understand the Andalusian audio-visual fabric from the perspective of the current conglomerate of Andalusian production companies and productions in Andalusia; to observe the evolution of the audio-visual sector in the autonomous community of Andalusia; and to find out whether the current productions made in Andalusia are economically profitable and, above all, whether the public sector can support them.

An approach is therefore made to the audio-visual industry in the Andalusian region, with an analysis of the beginnings of this industry (1989-1999), the development of the 'elite' production companies (1999-2009), and the production companies up to the present day, including the first quarter of 2021.

The basic methodology is based on a simple structural approach that analyses the development of the audio-visual structure by analysing its context and casuistry, as well as situating the actors, the economic situation, political power, and background. In this work, different types of content analysis have been combined depending on the specific documents to be analysed. Qualitative techniques such as direct observation and participant observation were used for the initial data collection. Bibliographic techniques were also used. At the same time, in-depth interviews were conducted with a sample of 23 individuals with different profiles, in order to achieve a balance: those related to the management of CSTV, those who currently work (or have worked) at CSTV, those who form (or have formed) part of the Audio-visual Council of Andalusia, those who form (or have formed) part of Andalusian audio-visual production companies, researchers who have investigated CSTV or its production companies, professionals who have written about CSTV or its production companies, and politicians who have participated in the RTVA control commission.

Furthermore, as part of the methodological triangulation, four hundred and twenty journalists working in Andalusia were surveyed using the systematic random sampling technique. In addition, the bibliographic technique was used, with access to RTVA's reports, its website, and various Official Gazettes of the Andalusian Regional Government (BOJA), as well as other informative and scientific publications.

The three working methods (observation, interviews, and survey) were operationalised according to three historical stages: 1989-2000, 2001-2010, and 2011-2020, and a process of recording and subsequent coding was carried out thanks to the creation of a database in the Excel software of the Office 365 package and the use of the Atlas.ti software, in its version 21.0.8, of NK Qualitas.

The results show that CSTV has complied with the obligation set out in its regulations to promote the development of the audio-visual sector and related production companies. The quantitative and qualitative data corroborate that it has favoured the development of the Andalusian audio-visual production sector. Throughout the study, different parameters of the relationship between the audio-visual structure in the Andalusian region and the media conglomerates have been found. The majority of informants maintain that regional audio-visual production in Andalusia is connected to the structure of world information. 100% of those interviewed on this issue stated that neither the regional audio-visual structure in Andalusia nor CSTV are separate from the different global media conglomerates that determine the content that reaches the public, and that everything is interrelated. This is the only question on which there is unanimity in the answers, since, in the rest of the statements and comments, the discrepancies are evident.

In conclusion to this study, it can be said that CSTV has fostered the development of the audio-visual sector since its beginnings, generating a business fabric and playing a dynamic role for the sector, despite the negative effects that excessive dependence on a single production demander, in this case, the public broadcaster, can have on the sector. Even so, the doors are slowly opening for new production companies and enterprises to develop. In this way, CSTV has fulfilled its obligation under its regulations to promote the development of the audio-visual fabric in the Andalusian region. The data certainly confirm that it has favoured the development of the Andalusian audio-visual production sector.

Although it is possible to conjecture about the future of audio-visual production companies, this is directed towards diversification, towards alliances with other companies and larger entities and towards the export of the Andalusian audio-visual sector to other channels and platforms, as well as the sale abroad of the formats that work in Andalusia. The audio-visual future in Andalusia must go hand in hand with the technological revolution, but also with the quality of the content and institutional, not political, backing to guarantee this excellence. In this regard, it is worth noting that, despite the possible criticism that may be derived from these data, the truth is that Canal Sur Televisión is, as a company, cheap; that is to say, it is economically profitable (without commenting on the social function of public television). This is what is affirmed in the different perspectives and studies (from sports broadcasts to the role of regional television stations), longitudinal analyses carried out at different points in time. In addition to approaching the industry from the point of view of the purely Andalusian audio-visual fabric, the fact is that in-house production through external production companies means lower fixed costs and the possibility of choosing from a wider range of content, productions and audio-visual shows that would otherwise not be possible.

© Revista de estudios regionales 2014 Universidades Públicas de Andalucía