There is a new cat on the Spanish internet broadcast scene. In September, Portal Latino – a subsidiary of Sociedad Digital de Autores y Editores (SDAE) – in partnership with prodco Neptuno Films, launched a 24/7 all-kids channel dubbed El Gato Feliz (Happy Cat).
The frisky feline will initially reach subscribers of new telecom entity Orange, launched in Spain by parent France Telecom earlier this year. El Gato Feliz is part of a US$35 per month service that carries 60 IPTV channels and is currently available to Orange’s 600,000 Spanish broadband subscribers. The telecom anticipates 100,000 of its exisiting customers will opt to pick up the service by next year. Additionally, SDAE content manager Gaizka Ceberio says the channel will soon be available to ONO cable’s 800,000 clients.
According to Ceberio, the Spanish IPTV market got a shot in the arm this year from new government regulations that now allow Spanish companies to charge a flat fee for cellular and broadband use. And, he adds, telecom growth has outstripped that of cable and satellite TV competitors because of their ability to deliver a one-stop shopping experience to consumers – the telecoms can bundle broadband, Pay-TV/IPTV, and traditional and cell phone subscriptions together.
Ceberio sees the new channel as a perfect opportunity to introduce content to the Spanish market that might have been overlooked by the predominant terrestrial broadcasters.
‘We are looking for unconventional product,’ he says, adding the partnership with Neptuno will work to its advantage, as the Spanish production company is known for its unique creations. ‘In a market that is full of U.S. and Japanese animation this partnership will allow us to offer something fresh and cool.’
With competition that includes big names such as Disney Channel and Cartoon Network, El Gato Feliz is looking to specialize in offering specifically Spanish fare – both short and long form – to differentiate itself from its immediate rivals.
So far, the channel hosts homegrown shows such as Bandolero, Danny and Daddy and El Patito. However, there is room for imports. German-Bulgarian production Sauerkraut and the France-Canada copro C.L.Y.D.E. are also on the channel. GR