Madrid, Spain -- The country's four-year-old Iberica
Link conference, once one of the region's leading pay TV trade shows, has been
Global Exposition Holdings L.C. (Globex), Iberica
Link's organizers, pulled the plug on the conference due to increased competition
from other shows. Iberica Link, which had been held each June, attracted a total of 4,000
attendees since it began in 1994.
The move didn't surprise many who attended last
year's show, since there was a noticeable drop in participants. At the same time,
Spain has evolved into a much different pay TV market than it was when Iberica Link began.
"The TV market is saturated with shows, in contrast
with several years ago," one analyst said.
Iberica Link was launched early in the evolution of the
Spanish cable-television business. For years, the industry's cable regulations were
stalled, keeping investors champing at the bit as they waited to enter one of
Europe's last unregulated major countries.
"In 1994, Iberica Link was a pioneer show, but the
market situation is different. At that time, the cable law hadn't been passed. Now,
there are two digital DTH [direct-to-home] satellite platforms operating, and the
government is working on terrestrial digital TV," said a source from Ipetel, the
former local representative for the show.
Officials at Globex couldn't be reached for comment by
press time last week.
Other people who follow Spain's pay TV industry noted
that there may be less of a need for a trade show like Iberica Link because the
lion's share of Spain's cable subscribers have fallen into the hands of a
relatively small number of operators.