Mediapro offers a combustible mix of sport and politics

LIKE Jaume Roures and Gerard Romy, two of its founders, Mediapro is proudly Catalan. Too proud, according to the Spanish police. The television company, which launched in 1994, has been investigated for paying for a press centre for foreign journalists during an unconstitutional independence referendum in the region last October, and for producing a sympathetic documentary on the vote. Mediapro denies wrongdoing. At Madrid’s main annual contemporary art fair last month its third co-founder, Tatxo Benet, purchased a contentious set of photographs which labelled the plebiscite’s jailed Catalan organisers as political prisoners.

Pro-independence antics may be popular in Catalonia, which on March 25th again erupted in violent protest after German authorities arrested Carles Puigdemont, the former Catalan president. But they could be a headache for Mediapro’s new Chinese owners. On February 15th Orient Hontai Capital, an investment firm from Beijing, bought 53.5% of Imagina, a holding firm which owns Mediapro, in a deal that valued the firm at…Continue reading

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