Live bullfighting to return to Spain's public broadcaster
Live bullfighting is returning to Spain's public broadcaster after six years of viewers being unable to watch, in real time, the last few minutes of a bull's life.
A fight at the bullring in Valladolid is set to be broadcast on September 5, allowing bullfight fans to see half a dozen animals fought and killed on the sand of the city's arena.
The decision to show live bullfighting comes after the conservative People's party (PP) of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy took control of the broadcaster's board and changed its senior management.
Television Espanola (TVE) will not pay the three bullfighters involved or the firm that runs the Valladolid bullring, though it will bear the cost of setting up the multi-camera broadcast.
Top matadors Julian Lopez (known as El Juli), Jose Maria Manzanares and Alejandro Talavante have waived their royalties as part of a campaign to stop growing anti-bullfight sentiment that has already succeeded in getting the practise banned in the autonomous eastern region of Catalonia.
"TVE believes that the potential audience that might be attracted to this line-up is, in itself, a sufficient reason for broadcasting it," a spokesman said. "This will be the first of a short but symbolic series of bullfights, which Spain's public television channel plans to programme."
TVE pulled bullfighting from its schedules last year, saying it contravened its code of conduct for programmes before Spain's late evening watershed hour. Bullfights mostly start at 6pm or 7pm, falling into children's viewing hours.
But Rajoy's PP is involved in a reform of the broadcaster and is accused of removing journalists who are seen as too left wing.