|Launched||7 November 2005|
|Owned by||Mediaset España Comunicación|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
|Audience share||5.9% (2013, )|
|Slogan||Yo soy Cuatro (I am Four)|
Factoría de Ficción
|Jazztelia TV||Channel 4|
|Orange TV||Channel 4|
Cuatro (stylized as cuatroo, "Four") is a Spanish free-to-air television channel that was launched in November 2005. Owned by Mediaset España Comunicación, the Spanish subsidiary of the Italian Mediaset group, it is broadcast on TV frequencies licensed to the previous owner Sogecable in 1990 and previously used by them for the analogue transmission of its pay-per-view channel Canal+.
In 2006, Cuatro scored a massive coup by striking a deal with the Royal Spanish Football Federation and Spain's national football team allowing it to show all of the team's matches, and it also concluded an agreement with rival channel La Sexta to share the rights to broadcast the games of general interest in the 2006 FIFA World Cup. It snatched this licence from TVE, who had held the rights to the national team's matches for years. In 2008, together with satellite platform Digital+, owned by the same company, Cuatro secured the rights to broadcast the UEFA Euro 2008 championship, scoring the highest ratings in the history of Spanish television (since 1992). The two broadcasters also achieved rights for 2010 FIFA World Cup.
On 18 December 2009, Mediaset, controlling shareholder of Gestevision Telecinco and Promotora de Informaciones, S.A, proprietor of Sogecable, presented an agreement to merge their television channels (Telecinco and Cuatro). After the merger, Cuatro and its broadcasting license Sogecable separated, and the company - Sogecuatro - was purchased in full by Gestevision Telecinco. Along with this act, PRISA bought newly issued shares of Gestevision Telecinco, 18% of the equity of this company. This agreement makes Gestevision Telecinco in the largest television network in Spain by audience share. In total the group has a total of seven channels, in Terrestrial Television in Spain: Telecinco, Cuatro, LaSiete, FactoríaDeFicción, Boing, Canal+Dos, CNN+, Telecinco HD and Canal Club.
The president of the resulting string (which will keep the brands and editorial of both chains) is Alejandro Echevarria, with two CEOs who are Paolo Vasile (Contents) and Giuseppe Tringali (Advertising). PRISA also has two CEOs and holds the vice presidency of the operator.
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Cuatro currently broadcasts in 16:9 for most of the programs, but in 4:3 for a minority of programming including films and older series. It mostly broadcasts series of advertisements that last more than 15min, put on less than a minute of the actual show and then start again with advertisements.
- "Telecinco gana 2013 con un 13,5%, frente al 13,4% de Antena 3". FormulaTV. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
- ELPAIS.com (20 December 2007). "Cuatro y Digital + emitirán en exclusiva la Eurocopa 2008". Retrieved 31 January 2019 – via elpais.com.
- "Los penaltis de España - Italia, lo más visto de la historia de la televisión". FormulaTV. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
- Telecinco y Cuatro se fusionan para liderar la televisión en España El País, 18 December 2009
- Telecinco y Cuatro fusionarán sus operaciones Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine Telecinco, 18 December 2009
- Official website (in Spanish)