Spanish TV Cuts Holy Mass Broadcasts

Country: Spain

Date of incident: August 30, 2018

Category: Government Restrictions

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Governmental / Media / Political

According to reports, RTVE, the Spanish national public radio and television service, will stop airing a weekly Sunday Mass, ending a tradition of almost 40 years. Although it is the most-watched program on the channel, the decision was explained by the government, which presented the proposal in March 2017, as necessary to become a "neutral" public television station that does not favor any belief or religion.

Rosa María Mateo, the sole administrator of RTVE since July 2018, said that the live broadcast of the Holy Mass every Sunday was too expensive.

Religión Confidencial reported that RTVE did not consult with or inform the Episcopal Conference before making the decision to cut the programming.

"El día del Señor" is the most watched program of the entire channel, with 600,000 viewers. After the proposal to end the broadcasts was presented by Podemos in March 2017, the televised Mass tripled its audience: going from 7% to 19.3% of screen share and far exceeded a million viewers, a milestone for the second channel of Spanish Television.    

Sources: Periodista Digital and RC