Cuts threaten Spanish public television

Popular programs face ax under strict budget guidelines

If the public broadcaster, RTVE, slashes 204 million euros from its budget as mandated by the government, it will mean the end of popular programs and even entire channels, warned the rotating chairman of the board, Josep Manuel Silva.

In a congressional appearance, Silva said that game shows like Saber y ganar and documentaries on La 2 could get the ax, together with the children's channel Clan and the sports channel Teledeporte.

"These are not my personal opinions," he told the chamber. "We can make important cuts. The problem lies in making them this year, because we have commitments we have to keep."

Chief among these is airing the Olympic Games, which will cost upwards of 70 million euros. The state broadcaster's budget for 2012 was initially set at 1.2 billion euros.

The government is arguing that after the spending cuts in sectors like health and education, RTVE must also do its share in the national austerity drive to bring down the deficit.

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