Live bullfighting returns to prime-time viewing in Spain

 

Santander

The Spanish state broadcaster, TVE, yesterday gave a boost to bullfighting's chances of survival when it showed its first live broadcast of a fight in six years.

TVE stopped showing live bullfighting in October 2006 under the auspices of the then Socialist government, but the ban was only made formal in 2009 because it was considered, according to one TVE source, "too bloodthirsty for children". Since then, bullfighting has had an uphill battle to retain its once leading role in Spanish cultural life, with the country's dire economic situation exacerbating its difficulties.

The number of bullfights in Spain has, since 2007, dropped by a third, and by 50 per cent in its heartland of Andalusia. It has been banned outright in Catalunya and in San Sebastian, while polls in 2011 indicated that more than six out of 10 Spaniards disliked the spectacle, which has long been criticised by animal-rights activists.

And with tickets selling at up to €300 (£235) for Barcelona's last bullfight in October 2011, the appeal of watching a live fight from the ringside amongst cash-strapped Spaniards has shrunk. TVE's decision to broadcast the fight in the northern town of Valladolid last night comes after the conservative PP government undertook reforms of Spain's public broadcaster, amidst accusations that left-wing journalists have been sacked from the senior management. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is said to be a fan of bullfighting. The renewal of the live broadcasts is only for a short series of fights, reportedly a maximum of three or four a year. But even this limited programme has outraged activists. "I find it disgraceful that taxpayer's money should be used to pay for this," said Antonio Moreno, president of the animal-rights association CACMA. "But what's even worse is that TVE is showing how an animal is humiliated and tortured to death right in the middle of children's TV viewing time."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Advertisement Sales Manager

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A publishing company based in F...

Guru Careers: Product Design Engineer / UX Designer

£20 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a tech savvy Product Design Engineer /...

Guru Careers: German Speaking Account Manager

£24-30K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: German speaking Account Manager / ...

Guru Careers: System Administrator / Sys Admin

£23 - 30K (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a System Ad...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor