Spain’s Movistar Plus+ Relaunches, Offering a Strengthened Basic Tier Streaming Service to Any Telco Client

Movistar Plus+, the pay TV/VOD service of Spanish telco giant Telefonica, is relaunching from Aug. 1, bowing a new souped-up version of its basic tier as a streaming service to clients of any telco service in Spain, Movistar announced Friday. 

To date, only clients of Telefonica telephony service Movistar could access the Movistar Plus+ TV service.

Priced at €11 ($12.21) a month and €14 ($15.54) for non-Movistar clients – compared to Netflix’s basic and standard tiers of €7.99 ($8.87) and €12.99 ($14.42) in Spain – the new-look Movistar Plus+ will offer in exclusivity as star attractions Movistar original series and films, as well as big foreign shows and movies, at the rate of a movie premiere every day, and, crucially, two LaLiga and one Champions League game every round of matches. 

Further sporting fixtures included in the streaming service are crunch games from the NBA, ABC, tennis and rugby’s Six Nations tournament.  

The offer also takes in documentaries, general entertainment, animation, music and a flagship linear channel, called Movistar Plus+, which will package the service’s bigger plays, whether fiction premieres or popular late night talk show “La Resistencia.”      

The relaunch observes market realities. Built on the merger of Canal+ and Movistar TV, Movistar+ launched in 2015 as a classic pay TV, the biggest by far in Spain. Peaking in 2018, pay TV revenues, having dipped, now look set to plateau for the foreseeable future. 

In contrast, Spain’s online video subscription revenue will grow from $1.8 billion in 2022 to $2.85 billion in 2027, making OTT services and their advertising the biggest growth driver on Spain’s media landscape, global research company Omdia estimates.

Offering key attractions across the entertainment board, the new Movistar Plus+ look like a clear play for family households. The offer launches as Spanish LaLiga soccer rights in a soccer-fixated country are shared by Movistar Plus+, which has 55% of matches, and DAZN. Often heavily based on series and films, global streamers in Spain have no Spanish soccer matches. 

There is no suggestion that Movistar Plus+ is scaling back on its production of original series. Boasting titles to date such as Canneseries winners “Perfect Life” and “The Left-Handed Son” and the upcoming “La Mesías,” from Los Javis, world premiering at San Sebastian, they account for the vast majority of most-seen series on the service. 

The large question, indeed, is whether Movistar Plus+ co-produces more Spanish movies, some with theatrical bows, as it becomes increasingly difficult for independent producers to finance premium films with a higher budget, scale and ambition. 

World premiering at San Sebastian last September, Alberto Rodriguez’s “Prison 77,” released Feb. 10 on Movistar Plus+, became the most-watched movie of any nationality on the service since spring 2020.

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