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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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For members


Does Spain have a dog poo problem?

Many foreigners in Spain complain that the streets are full of dog faeces, but is that actually true and what, if anything, is being done to address it?

Does Spain have a dog poo problem?

Spain is a nation of dog lovers.

According to the country’s National Institute of Statistics (INE), 40 percent of Spanish households have a dog.

In fact, believe it or not, the Spanish have more dogs than they do children.

While there are a little over 6 million children under the age of 14 in Spain, there are over 7 million registered dogs in the country. 

But one bugbear of many foreigners in Spain is that there’s often a lot of dog mess in the streets, squares and parks.

The latest estimates suggest it’s as much as 675,000 tonnes of doodoo that has to be cleaned up every year in Spain.

Many dog owners in Spain carry around a bottle of water mixed with detergent or vinegar to clean up their dog’s urine and small plastic bags to pick up number twos.

And yet, many owners seem to either turn a blind eye to their pooches’ poo or somehow miss that their pets have just pooed, judging by the frequency with which dog sh*t smears Spanish pavements. 

So how true is it that Spain has a dog poo problem? Is there actually more dog mess in Spain than in other countries, and if not, why does it seem that way?

One contextual factor worth considering when understanding the quantity of caca in Spain’s calles is how Spaniards themselves actually live.

When one remembers that Spaniards mostly live in apartments without their own gardens, it becomes less surprising that it feels as though there’s a lot of dog mess in the streets. Whereas around 87 percent of households in Britain have a garden, the number in Spain is below 30 percent.

Simply put, a nation of dog lovers without gardens could mean more mess in the streets. 

Whereas Britons often just let their dogs out into their garden to do their business, or when they can’t be bothered to take them for a walk even, Spaniards have to take them out into the street, unless they’re okay with their pooches soiling their homes. 

There aren’t many dog-friendly beaches in Spain, and the fact that on those that do exist, some owners don’t clean up their dogs’ mess, doesn’t strengthen the case for more ‘playas para perros‘ to be added. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / STR / AFP)

Doggy dirt left in the streets is most certainly not a Spain-specific problem either, but rather an urban one found around the world.

In recent years, there have been complaints about the sheer abundance of canine faecal matter left in public spaces in Paris, Naples, Rome, Jerusalem, Glasgow, Toronto, London, San Francisco and so on.

READ ALSO: Why do some Spanish homes have bottles of water outside their door?

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a worldwide study to shed light on which cities and countries have the biggest ‘poo-blem’, with the available investigations mainly centred on individual nations, such as this one by Protect my Paws in the US and UK

And while it may be more noticeable in Spain than in some countries, it doesn’t mean the Spanish are doing nothing about it.

In fact, Barcelona has been named the third best city in Europe for dealing with the problem, according to a study by pet brand

Although Barcelona’s score of 53/80 was significantly lower than many British cities (Newcastle scored 68/80 and Manchester 66/80, for example) its hefty fines of 1,500 for dog owners caught not cleaning up after their canine friends might be a reason. 

And some parts of Spain take it even more seriously than that.

In many Spanish regions doggy databases have been created to catch the culprits. Over 35 Spanish municipalities require dog owners to register their pets’ saliva or blood sample on a genetic database so they can be traced and fined, if necessary. 

In Madrid, you are twice as likely to come across someone walking a dog than with a baby’s stroller. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

This DNA trick started earlier in Spain than in many other countries; the town of Brunete outside of Madrid kicked off the trend in 2013 by mailing the ‘forgotten’ poo to neglectful owners’ addresses. Some municipalities have also hired detectives to catch wrongdoers.

So it’s not as if dog poo doesn’t bother Spaniards, with a 2021 survey by consumer watchdog OCU finding that it’s the type of dirt or litter found in the streets than bothers most people.

READ ALSO: Clean or dirty? How does your city rank on Spain’s cleanliness scale? 

It’s therefore not a part of Spanish culture not to clean up after dogs, but rather a combination of Spain’s propensity for outdoor and urban living, the sheer number of dogs, and of course the lack of civic duty on the part of a select few. Every country has them. 

On a final note, not all dog owners in Spain who don’t clean up after their pooches can be blamed for doing it deliberately, but it’s certainly true that looking at one’s phone rather than interacting with your dog, or walking with your dog off the leash (also illegal except for in designated areas) isn’t going to help you spot when your pooch has done its business.

Article by Conor Faulkner and Alex Dunham