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Political gatherings, among the most watched television programmes in Spain

The documentary ‘Best of enemies’ remember us the famous scuffle between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley, experts in the current American political affairs who staged intense debates during the 60s. Judging by the audience data, in Spain we are loyal supporters of television political gatherings.

17 february 2016

In Spain we like TV shows on current political affairs, or at least that is what the last shares of audience show. La Sexta noche, Al rojo vivo and Las mañanas de Cuatro are our favourite spaces.

La Sexta noche set the share record on Saturday 5 December with the visit of Mariano Rajoy to the set, who brought together in front of the television to 1,657,000 viewers, or in other words, a 13,4% share. The data were even better with the interview to the head of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, who generated to the Atresmedia’s channel 16,2% ratings.

Other programme of La Sexta leads the midday slot. Al rojo vivo completes five years on air improving the ratings of previous seasons. On Friday 12 February, the space that Antonio García Ferreras hosts and directs, reached a 14,5% share.

The best numbers of the programme correspond with their specials on current political affairs. Objetivo La Moncloa was the most watched space during the electoral night with a 17,6% share.

Image source: flickr

The success of the programmes on current political affairs does not limit to the channels of Atresmedia group. This formula repeats also in Mediaset with Las mañanas de Cuatro, which reached on Friday 12 February a 11,8% rating. The weekly space hosted by Javier Ruiz finished summer with a 10,4% share.

The politics show

Cinematographic production is no stranger to the interest that political affairs gatherings awake between citizens. Best of enemies is a documentary directed by Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville that explores the relationship between politics and television with the famous clashes between the North American intellectuals Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley.

It all started in 1968, with the presidential elections in United States where Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey confronted, and the first of them won.  The ABC channel bet for an innovative format when it put together the most provocative talk show guests of the time: Buckley, supporter of the Republicans; and Vidal, sympathiser of the Democrats.

“Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in you goddam face and you’ll stay plastered” was the sentence that Buckley blurted his “adversary” out and that, sadly, made him famous. An episode that got the AMC to reach historical audience ratings.

Political and television go hand in hand in the case of televised debates, which have recorded excellent viewing figures in our country. The face-to-face between Mariano Rajoy and Pedro Sánchez from 14 December became the most watched programme in 2015 with 9,2 million viewers. Among the dozen of national and regional channels that broadcasted it, La Sexta was the most followed with 2,914,000 viewers (14,6% share).

The televised debate is a format that we have imitated in Spain from other countries, especially from the United States, where political debates always register good ratings. The last example was on August, when Fox channel reached a 16% share and 24 million viewers with the Republican primary.

 
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