The RTVE Corporation is entrusted with the mission of offering and guaranteeing State-owned public radio and television services.
Corporación Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE) is a State-owned mercantile company that has a special degree of autonomy. It is incorporated as a limited company and its share capital is owned entirely by the State. It is managed by a Board of Directors, whose twelve members are chosen by Parliament.
The RTVE Corporation directly manages public radio and television broadcasting services, in accordance with Law 17/2006 Regarding State-Owned Radio and Television, this being the law that set up the Corporation and developed Article 20 of the Spanish Constitution.
As provided for in Article 2 of Law 17/2006, "the public services function [attributed to RTVE] consists of the production of contents and editing and dissemination of general and thematic channels, over the air and encrypted, at a national and international level, as well as the provision of related and interactive services".
In the section where it explains its purpose, this Law declares "it brings together the main proposals contained in the report produced by the Council for the Reform of the State-Owned Media, which was created by Royal Decree 744/2004, dated 23rd April. It assumes the need for a reform, with a view to raising levels of neutrality, transparency and quality (...) and establishing a mechanism for stable and sustained financing, based on the Community principles of proportional and transparent management of public radio and television services, avoiding current deficit financing by recourse to debt".
Law 17/2006, which was published in the Official State Bulletin (BOE) of 6th June 2006, replaced the Radio and Television Statute of 1980, a regulation that was annulled even though it would continue to be applied for the purposes of the regulatory law for the Third Television Channel and the Law on Private Television.
The Corporation enjoys complete autonomy in terms of its management and acts independently of the Government and the General State Administration, with a view to guaranteeing the provision of true, objective and plural information and encouraging democratic participation and debate, effectively promoting culture, knowledge, child protection, gender equality and social and territorial cohesion.
RTVE fulfils its public service function through two State-owned mercantile companies, whose shares are owned by the Corporation: Televisión Española / TVE ("Spanish Television") and Radio Nacional de España / RNE ("Spanish National Radio").
Financing of the Corporation is mixed, based on public funds approved by Parliament and on advertising and other commercial resources, such as the sale of programmes. RTVE can only acquire debt in order to finance its investments in tangible and intangible fixed assets and in order to compensate for temporary liquidity imbalances. Limits are established for each financial year in the corresponding programme-contracts signed by the Government and the Corporation.
RTVE is compensated on an annual basis for the fulfilment of its public service obligations through the National Budget.
According to the provisions of Law 17/2006, "in order to fulfil its public service mission, the following instruments are established: a framework-mandate to be approved by Parliament specifying the general objectives of said public service function, which is valid for a period of nine years; a three-year programme-contract, to be signed by the Government and the RTVE Corporation (...); an analytical accounting system that guarantees financial transparency and facilitates calculation of the net cost of the public service obligations imposed; financial and economic monitoring by means of the General State Administration Audit Agency and the Court of Auditors".
The programme-contract "shall determine the following: the annual contributions to be made by the National Budget each year; the means of adapting the agreed objectives to variations in the economic climate; the consequences of possible cases of non-fulfilment; monitoring of its execution and the results of its application".
The Board of Directors
The management and administration of the Corporation shall be entrusted to the Board of Directors, which shall implement its ordinary executive management functions through its Chairman, the figure who shall head the RTVE Corporation.
The Board is made up of 9 members, who are chosen by Parliament. Five members are appointed by the Lower House of Spain's Parliament, the Congreso de los Diputados, and four by the Upper House, the Senado.
The Board Members sit for a term of six years, although the Board is partially renewed every three years. The Board Members lose their place on the Board when their term expires or they can lose it as a consequence of losses that reduce the Corporation's assets by an amount that is under half of the corporate capital or when settlement of the budget results in a deterioration equal to or more than 10 per cent of the budgeted amount.
Among the nine Board Members, the Congreso de los Diputados appoints an Executive Chairman, who serves, at the same time, as the Chairman of the Corporation and the Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Article 24 of Law 17/2006 makes reference to the creation of Media Councils, which "consist of internal bodies featuring the participation of media professionals at the RTVE Corporation designed to safeguard the independence, objectiveness and truth of the information disseminated by the companies providing the corresponding public services (...) The regulations concerning the organisation and operation of the Media Councils shall be approved by the Board of Directors, in accordance with the media professionals that form part of the RTVE Corporation".