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Why on earth do Spain’s TV channels always cut out film credits?

If you’ve watched a movie on Spanish TV you may have noticed that once it ends, they abruptly cut to ads or another film without showing the credits. Why does this happen?

woman watching tv in spain , film credits
Unfortunately, it looks like Spanish TV's credits-cutting habit is going nowhere anytime soon.Photo: Kalila Kal/Pixabay

You’re watching a fantastic film at home in Spain, one that’s impressed you for its cinematography, acting or location.

But just as the final scene ends and you’re anticipating checking out the main credits, the channel quickly cuts to ads or directly into another film or programme, not giving you the time to process, talk about it or make yourself a coffee.

Why do Spanish televison channels do this?

In an interview published by Spanish broadcaster RTVE in 2011 (which showcases how long the problem has been going on for), short film director and screenwriter Raúl Díez Rodríguez sent in a video complaint denouncing how La 2 channel was cutting out the credits and thus the recognition of people in the film and TV business.

“This omission constitutes damage to intellectual property rights,” Díez read from Spanish legal text, but La 2 responded that they only had to show 15 seconds of credits as that is their rule. 

More recently in 2018, Spanish writer Javier Sierra also tweeted: “Why don’t TV in the UK cut off the credits, at the end of the movies and in Spain they always do it? Isn’t it disrespectful to creators?

One Twitter user argued, “well, I suppose that for the same reason why in Spain most people leave the cinema when the credits begin”, and another said “nobody can last 5 minutes seeing a black background with passing names”.

But other commentators didn’t agree with that view, saying it showed a lack of respect and ethics as well as an attack on intellectual property. 

So is there an official answer to why the majority of Spanish TV channels cut out credits?

Money from advertising is the most likely answer, as this remains the primary source of income for private television channels, albeit dwindling as mobile video takes a bigger chunk of viewership. 

Most foreigners in Spain will agree that Spanish TV channels show a higher amount of TV ads than back in their home countries. 

In early 2020 as Spaniards were confined to their homes during the first coronavirus lockdown, there were as many as 900 hours of TV adverts a week across the channels. 

The limit of ads per hour in Spain was supposed to be 12 minutes but Spain’s independent competition regulator the CNMC has opened up investigations against big media companies such as Mediaset and RTVE for surpassing these limits, in the public broadcaster’s case for showing too many self-promo ads.

In November 2021 the Spanish government made the limits more flexible to a maximum of 144 minutes of ads between 6 am and 6 pm, and a maximum limit of 72 minutes between 6:00 pm and 12:00 pm.

Keeping all this in mind, it seems that replacing the five minutes of a film’s credits with money-generating TV ads is an offer private channels find too hard to pass up on. 

And unfortunately for film crews and creators, it looks like Spanish TV’s credits-cutting habit is going nowhere anytime soon. At least people in Spain don’t have to pay a TV licence.

Member comments

  1. We once sat in a cinema in Olot and refused to leave until they showed all the ending credits!
    This they did with no argument.
    We were the last to leave…

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Why Monday August 15th is a public holiday in Spain

Monday August 15th is a public holiday in Spain. Find out why and if it's a holiday in your region or not.

Why Monday August 15th is a public holiday in Spain

August is holiday season in Spain, the month when offices close, many small bars and cafes shut up shop and people head away from the cities towards the coasts. 

There are of course some people that have to work during August, but Monday August 15th is a public holiday in all regions of Spain, meaning that businesses that usually stay open in the summer, such as supermarket chains, will close. 

August 15th, is an important date in the Spanish calendar, not only because it’s a public holiday but because it’s a day to celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin, which according to Christians, commemorates the day the Virgin Mary entered heaven. This will be honoured with church masses across the country. 

Every year, August 15th is a guaranteed vacation day, unless it falls on Sunday, which is what happened last year. In that case, each region can decide if they want to keep the holiday or change it to another day, such as moving it to the next day. 

Last year only Andalusia, Aragón, Asturias, the Canary Islands and Castilla y León, kept August 15th as a regional holiday, while all the other regions changed it to give workers an extra day’s rest. 

Many people across Spain will be taking the advantage of the puente as it is called in Spanish or bridge, getting away for the long weekend by taking this weekend as holiday days too. 

READ ALSO – Spanish Word of the Day: ‘Puente’

When is the next public holiday? 

After Monday, the next national public holiday won’t be until October 12th, celebrating the national day of Spain, however, some regions will have their own public holidays before then. 

For example, September 11th, is La Diada in Catalonia, celebrating the National Day of Catalonia.