The communications corporation Movistar has decided to drop Canal Toros, a TV channel in Spain dedicated to bullfighting that has been running for 30 years. The channel will stop transmitting to subscribers from 23rd March 2023.
For a moment, it appeared that this decision was been reconsidered due to pressure from the bullfighting lobby, but on 21st February 2023, the channel confirmed that it will go ahead with cancelling Canal Toro as initially announced. However, although the channel will no longer be there, this does not mean that bullfighting programmes will not be shown on other channels belonging to the broadcaster, who said, “residential customers will be able to continue enjoying on demand (VOD) through their decoder or on their devices the best bullfighting content that has been broadcast throughout the channel’s history.”
Animal rights groups claim this decision was taken due to a decline in support for this bloody spectacle. Aida Gascón, of AnimaNaturalis, tweeted: “If the torture of animals received popular support, you would not have to give grants to support it, nor would the media decide to close their almost extinct sections dedicated to bullfighting, as El Pais did recently, and Movistar has now done.” However, it has been speculated that the decision may have something to do with Movistar Plus failure to keep the TV rights to the main bullfighting festivals in Madrid and Seville, while a competitor, OneToro, may have got them.
In 2022, the newspaper with more circulation in Spain, El País, eliminated from its printed edition the bullfighting section that has been traditional for decades. Although the section continued in its online edition, it had been losing reader’s interest, so it had been gradually reducing the number of bullfighting chronicles. It seems that little by little, the media is turning its back from the cruel spectacle of torturing bulls in public, as most Spaniards have already done.