A moderate level of diversification in media ownership has continued, a trend that has grown somewhat stronger over the last couple of years. Apart from a quite healthy regional and local media sector (certainly newspapers, which are a traditional feature of the Spanish journalistic landscape, but today also including television and the Internet), diversified ownership structures prevail at the national level. To be sure, there are several giant media companies, each with an ideological bias, but the media market as a whole allows for a certain level of pluralism. If electoral behavior was compared with the spectrum of opinions actually published, very conservative positions would perhaps be shown to be overrepresented, and leftist positions somewhat marginalized. However, the most important media groups generally tend to cover a wide range of opinions, including post-materialist, social-democrat, liberal, Catholic and nationalist. There is no effective anti-monopoly policy in this field, but national public TV and radio networks (note that no public newspapers exist) have been relatively independent since 2006 (see Media Freedom) and help to compensate for some deficiencies.
The print media market is dominated by the Prisa Group (the publisher of the center-left El País, which is the most sold and most influential newspaper, but averages only 2 million readers), Unidad Editorial (which is owned by the Italian group RCS, and publishes the right-leaning El Mundo, with 1.3 million readers, as well as the most popular sports and economic newspapers) and Vocento (publisher of the conservative ABC, which is read by 750,000 people, as well as several other moderate or centrist regional newspapers such as El Correo in the Basque Country). Other groups include Prensa Ibérica (owner of several regional newspapers), Zeta (publisher of El Periódico de Catalunya, read by 800,000 people in Catalonia and Aragon) and Godó (publisher of La Vanguardia, based in Barcelona, with 750,000 readers). The electronic media market is quite similar to the print sector, since the two most-read political information websites are those belonging to El País and El Mundo, the two most popular newspapers.
The proliferation of TV channels at the national, regional and more recently local level has generated fierce competition for available advertising revenue. Public TVE, and the private groups Antena 3 (Grupo Planeta) and Tele 5 often swap positions with respect to audience ratings, with each generally drawing between 12% and 18% of television viewers. Tele 5 and the minor channel Cuatro (with a 5% to 9% audience share) are now owned by the Italian Mediaset (Silvio Berlusconi’s group). Regional public television stations, the private group La Sexta (owned by Mediapro, which is ideologically close to the socialist government) and a wide range of channels that appeared following the implementation of DTT complete the spectrum. Some of these focus solely on news, including Canal 24 horas (public TVE), CNN+ (affiliated with Prisa, leaning towards the center-left) and several tiny conservative channels.
Finally, the radio market is dominated by two of the groups mentioned above: Prisa (with the popular and influential station SER, which draws 5 million listeners) and Grupo Planeta (with Onda Cero, with 2.5 million daily listeners). Radio Nacional de España (RNE), the private Cadena Cope (belonging to the Catholic Church) and Punto Radio (Vocento) are also important radio networks. In 2010, these generalist stations shared around 50% of the total audience, with the other half divided between thematic, mostly music-focused radio stations.