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Competition watchdog investigates RTVE over ads during Spain matches

Spain players line up prior to the 2020 Uefa European Championships group F qualifying match between Spain and Norway (Photo by David Aliaga/MB Media/Getty Images)

Spanish public-service broadcaster RTVE is under investigation by the country’s competitions regulator, the Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, amid accusations that it aired two irregular adverts during its coverage of the national football team earlier this year.

The CNMC’s proceedings relate to Spain’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Norway on March 23 and Malta three days later. Both fixtures were shown on RTVE’s La 1 channel.

The CNMC is investigating whether the broadcaster violated the terms of article 43.2 of Spain’s Ley General de Comunicación Audivisual (LGCA), which prohibits advertising messages by public-service broadcasters.

Spanish newspaper El Confidencial reported that RTVE could be hit with a €100,000 ($110,000) fine for each of the two instances if it is found guilty. RTVE has 10 days to present its case.

The investigation comes after RTVE was fined €50,000 by the CNMC last month for repeatedly breaching advertising rules.