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Television in Portugal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Television in Portugal was introduced in 1956 (test broadcasts) by Radiotelevisão Portuguesa (now named Rádio e Televisão de Portugal), which held the nationwide television monopoly until late 1992. Regular broadcasting was introduced on March 7, 1957. Colour transmissions were introduced on March 10, 1980.

Digital terrestrial television (DTT) was introduced at a very late stage when compared to other countries in Europe and with limited channels, and according to the European Audiovisual Observatory it occupies the last place in 34 European countries with the weakest offer on digital terrestrial television, in such a way that most Portuguese are subscribers of cable (HFC) or IPTV (DSL or FTTH) platforms, in percentages higher than in the rest of Europe and these platforms are well developed with many channels. During the transition from analog to DTT, subscription-based television services experienced a 10% increase and reached 72.5% of homes in 2012. Outside of the internet, there are no regional or local television channels - with the exception of the autonomous state TV channels, RTP Açores and RTP Madeira -, although a couple of pay TV channels are partly or wholly dedicated to regional matters. Portuguese television is regulated by the Entidade Reguladora para a Comunicação Social (ERC).[1]


In 1953, a group on behalf of Emissora Nacional de Radiodifusão (later RDP) was set up examining the feasibility of a television service in Portugal. The group started a preliminary work for a network of television signals, with a budget on the order of 500,000 escudos. A foreign company had a proposal for the setup of the television network, including the possibility by a foreign company, with high foreign capital, tasking up a proposal for the building of the network and having the exclusive rights of the selling of television sets in the country for a determined period of time[2] In July 1954, their report A Televisão em Portugal (Television in Portugal) was published and was built upon the following pillars:

  • 1. The current status of TV and the opportunity for its introduction in Portugal
  • 2. The operating system to be adopted
  • 3. The solution that seems possible
  • 4. Outline of an initial plan and related charges
  • 5. Economic study
  • 6. List of work already carried out by ENR.[3]

On March 7, 1957 public broadcaster Rádio e Televisão de Portugal (RTP) began broadcasting RTP1, the first television channel in the country. A second RTP channel, RTP2, started broadcasting on December 25, 1968. Private commercial channels were launched in the early 1990s, with SIC on October 6, 1992 and TVI on February 20, 1993. In 2012, the 24-hour television news channel TVI 24 was revamped and started to broadcast as CNN Portugal. In December 2021, Lisbon-headquartered investment management firm Alpac Capital signed an agreement to buy a controlling stake in the pan-European television news network Euronews from Egyptian telecoms magnate Naguib Sawiris.[4][5][6]


Analog broadcasts in Portugal were discontinued on April 26, 2012. There are eight free-to-air channels on Portuguese terrestrial TV: 6 are owned by the public service broadcaster RTP (with 2 being regional channels that broadcast FTA only in the Madeira and Azores Autonomous Regions), two are from private broadcasters (SIC and TVI) and one is owned by the Assembly of the Republic and broadcasts parliamentary sessions (like BBC Parliament).

See Digital terrestrial television in Portugal

List of free-to-air terrestrial channels

Nationwide channels

  • ARtv (Portugal): a public TV channel that broadcasts the sessions of Assembly of the Republic. The least watched terrestrial channel in Portugal.
  • RTP1: the flagship channel of RTP, the Portuguese public broadcasting corporation, and presents a general programming composed mainly by news, talk shows, discussion-based programs, national and international fiction and drama and entertainment. It is the third most watched TV channel in Portugal from 2001 to 2006, 2008, and again from 2011 to present. In the 37 years since its inception in 1957, it was the most watched channel in Portugal until 1995 when SIC overtook it, putting it at second place until 2001 (and again in 2007 and from 2009 to 2010).
  • RTP2: the second channel of Portuguese television. It focuses more on intellectual and cultural programming, as well as children and documentary programs. It is the only terrestrial channel in Portugal that broadcasts international (mostly American) TV-series during the prime-time.
  • RTP3: a news channel from RTP.
  • RTP Memória: archive programming from RTP and classic programming from various worldwide broadcasters (ranging from BBC's 'Allo 'Allo! to FOX's The X-Files).
  • SIC: The first private television station in Portugal. It broadcasts mainly Brazilian telenovelas and long talk shows (more than 8 hours every day), talent shows, as well as themed programming. Like competitor TVI, SIC does not broadcast many international TV-series during prime-time. It was the second most watched channel for 13 years (save for 2007, 2009, and 2010 when it was at third place) until 2019, when it overtook TVI for the number 1 position. Prior to that, SIC was number 1 from 1995 to 2004, breaking RTP1's long-standing lead.
  • TVI: The second private station in Portugal. It focuses mainly on Portuguese telenovelas (usually 5 or more in production at the same time), as well as talk-shows. These talk-shows account for more than 45% of TVI's programming and concentrate mainly on human interest stories, while the other 55% comprises telenovelas. It is also well known for its popular reality shows. The primary target audience of TVI are housewives and the elderly. For over 13 years since 2005 (when it overtook the once-dominant SIC), it reigned as the most watched channel in Portugal before relinquishing the position again to SIC in 2019.

Regionals channels

HD broadcasts

As of worldwide sport events, the common broadcasters usually start a temporary HD channel for subscription digital television users.

  • For the UEFA Euro 2008, TVI launched TVI HD to broadcast the event in HD (although you could also see the channel 24 hours).
  • Also for the UEFA Euro 2008, SportTV launched an HD simulcast of SportTV 1.
  • For the Beijing Olympics 2008, RTP has launched RTP HD, but this one had non-continuous programming, broadcasting only the Olympics (which come to air very late night) and some RTP2 sports programing during the day, pausing in the morning to around 15 (3 p.m) for Desporto 2 and then stopping again until 21 (9 p.m) to show prime-time during the week and movies during weekend. Night was filled with the Olympics from 0 to 2 (12 am to 2 am) with reruns and 2 to 7 am with live events.
  • MOV also launched a HD channel in 2008.
  • In the beginning of 2009 the all-native HD SportTV HD started broadcasting.
  • Also in 2009, RTP relaunched RTP HD, now with a different name, RTP1 HD, with regular broadcast.
  • SIC also start test broadcasts in 2009, with UEFA Europa League broadcasts but didn't proceed. They began broadcasting all their channels in HD on October 6, 2016, they day of the 24th anniversary of the first official broadcasts of SIC.
  • Thematic channels, AXN, FOX, FOX Life, TVCine, Syfy Universal, also started their HD broadcasts in 2009.
  • A HD channel was present on Digital Terrestrial Television but has never broadcast.


Optimus Clix has launched in 2006 a service called SmarTV (rebranded as Optimus Clix TV), provided on Amino and Motorola STBs, with VoD provided by Kasenna MediaBase video servers. PT Comunicações (Portugal Telecom) has also launched one called MEO, providing that the spin-off of subsidiary PT Multimédia was concluded. Vodafone also launched an IPTV service called Vodafone Casa TV.


All cable providers in Portugal introduced digital television (DVB-C).


Digital satellite services have existed since 1998. Currently, the providers are NOS and MEO operating in Hispasat.

Mobile TV

All operators had mobile TV under UMTS platforms. It was abandoned in favor of web-TV applications for mobile devices.

Most-viewed channels

Monthly viewing shares in April 2022:[7]

Position Channel Group (Owner) Share of
viewing (%)
1 SIC Impresa 17.0%
2 TVI Media Capital 16.6%
3 RTP1 RTP 10.1%
4 CMTV Cofina 4.0%
5 CNN Portugal Media Capital 3.6%
6 SIC Notícias Impresa 2.4%
7 FOX Fox Networks Group Portugal 1.9%
8 Globo Rede Globo 1.7%
9 TVI Reality Media Capital 1.7%
10 Canal Hollywood Dreamia 1.6%
11 FOX Movies Fox Networks Group Portugal 1.5%
12 FOX Life Fox Networks Group Portugal 1.1%
13 Canal 11 FPF 1.0%
14 TVI Ficção Media Capital 0.9%
15 AXN Sony Pictures 0.9%
16 SportTV + SportTV 0.8%
17 Disney Junior Disney 0.8%
18 RTP2 RTP 0.7%
19 Disney Channel Disney 0.7%
20 Cartoon Network WarnerMedia 0.7%
Other Cable / Watched in deferred / Non TV content 30.3%

Most watched shows


Rank Show Episode Rating Share Date Channel
1 UEFA Euro 2004 Portugal vs The Netherlands (semi-final) 40.9 87.2% 30 June 2004 RTP1
2 UEFA Euro 2012 Portugal vs Spain (semi-final) 39.5 76.0% 27 June 2012 SIC
3 UEFA Euro 2004 Portugal vs England (quarter-final) 39.0 85.1% 24 June 2004 RTP1
4 UEFA Euro 2016 Portugal vs Wales (semi-final) 38.4 75.4% 6 July 2016 RTP1
5 UEFA Euro 2016 Portugal vs France (final) 38.2 78.1% 10 July 2016 RTP1
6 UEFA Euro 2012 Portugal vs The Netherlands (group stage match) 38.1 73.4% 17 June 2012 TVI
7 2014 FIFA World Cup United States vs Portugal (group stage match) 37.8 75.4% 22 June 2014 RTP1
8 UEFA Euro 2004 Portugal vs Greece (final) 37.7 89.7% 4 July 2004 RTP1
9 UEFA Euro 2016 Poland vs Portugal (quarter-final) 37.4 69.9% 30 June 2016 RTP1
10 2006 FIFA World Cup Portugal vs France (semi-final) 37.2 82.3% 5 July 2006 SIC
11 A Próxima Vítima Last Episode (Brazilian telenovela) 37.1 80.2% 19 January 1996 SIC
12 UEFA Euro 2012 Czech Republic vs Portugal (quarter-final) 36.1 71.7% 21 June 2012 RTP1
13 UEFA Euro 2004 Russia vs Portugal (group stage match) 35.5 81.4% 16 June 2004 SIC
14 UEFA Euro 2016 Portugal vs Iceland (group stage match) 35.1 68.6% 14 June 2016 RTP1
15 UEFA Euro 2004 Spain vs Portugal (group stage match) 34.9 83.2% 20 June 2004 TVI
16 2006 FIFA World Cup Portugal vs The Netherlands (round of 16) 34.9 80.7% 25 June 2006 SIC
17 UEFA Euro 2008 Portugal vs Germany (quarter-finals) 34.5 75.6% 19 June 2008 TVI
18 2015 Portuguese legislative election Debate: António Costa vs. Pedro Passos Coelho 34.1 66% 10 September 2015 RTP1, SIC, TVI
19 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification Sweden vs Portugal (second leg playoff match) 34.1 62.2% 19 November 2013 RTP1
20 UEFA Europa League SL Benfica vs Chelsea FC (final) 33.8 62.3% 16 May 2013 SIC
21 UEFA Euro 2000 France vs Portugal (semi-finals) 33.2 76.7% 28 June 2000 RTP1
22 2006 FIFA World Cup Angola vs Portugal (group stage match) 32.8 80.9% 11 June 2006 SIC
23 UEFA Euro 2012 Germany vs Portugal (group stage match) 32.4 68.3% 9 June 2012 RTP1
24 UEFA Champions League Monaco vs Porto (final) 31.7 70.5% 26 May 2004 RTP1
25 UEFA Euro 2016 Croatia vs Portugal (Round of 16) 31.3 70% 26 June 2016 RTP1
26 UEFA Europa League Sevilla FC vs SL Benfica (final) 31.1 61.4% 14 May 2014 SIC
27 UEFA Champions League Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid (final) 30.8 64.3% 24 May 2014 TVI
28 Terra Nostra Last Episode (Brazilian telenovela) 30.8 64% 11 January 2000 SIC
29 2006 FIFA World Cup Portugal vs Iran 30.4 83.1% 17 June 2006 SIC
30 UEFA Europa League Juventus FC vs SL Benfica (semi-final) 30.4 58.9% 1 May 2014 SIC
31 Big Brother Portugal Live eviction show 30.2 72.5% 26 December 2000 TVI
32 UEFA Cup Sporting CP vs CSKA Moscow (Final) 30.1 68.4% 18 May 2005 RTP1
33 Taça de Portugal SL Benfica vs Sporting CP (Sixth round) 29.9 62.6% 26 January 2005 RTP1
34 Torre de Babel Last Episode (Brazilian telenovela) 29.8 77.1% 2 April 1999 SIC
35 UEFA Euro 2008 Switzerland vs Portugal 29.8 71.8% 15 June 2008 TVI
36 UEFA Cup Celtic FC vs FC Porto 29.7 67.5% 21 May 2003 SIC
37 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany vs Portugal (Third place play-off) 29.6 78.4% 8 July 2006 SIC
38 2006 FIFA World Cup England vs Portugal (quarter-finals) 29.2 88.1% 1 July 2006 SIC
39 UEFA Champions League Barcelona vs Benfica(quarter-finals) 29.3 65.6% 5 April 2006 RTP1
40 2010 FIFA World Cup Spain vs Portugal (Round of 16) 29.1 75.9% 29 June 2010 RTP1
47 Médico de Família(source: Sociedade Independente de Comunicação) (Last Episode) Portuguese TV series (Most watched Portuguese TV production - all genres / formats(source: Sociedade Independente de Comunicação) 27.9(source: Sociedade Independente de Comunicação) 61.4%(source: Sociedade Independente de Comunicação) 16 March 1999 (source: Sociedade Independente de Comunicação) SIC (source: Sociedade Independente de Comunicação)

Age ratings

Icon Description
Todos (Everyone) - no age restrictions.
10 AP (+10 - Parental Advisory) - for viewers above 10 (with parental advisory recommended for people under 10).
12 AP (+12 - Parental Advisory) - for viewers above 12 (with parental advisory recommended for people under 12).
16 - for viewers above 16. Programs with this age rating can only be broadcast from 10:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

See also


  1. ^ Official site of the Entidade Reguladora para a Comunicação Social (in Portuguese)
  2. ^ "TV EM PORTUGAL: o estudo e a legislação". RTP. 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  3. ^ "TV EM PORTUGAL: o estudo e a legislação". RTP. 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2021.
  4. ^ Portuguese investor will buy Euronews (Politico)
  5. ^ Egypt's Sawiris to sell struggling broadcaster Euronews to Alpac Capital (Reuters)
  6. ^ Euronews changes hands with global ambitions in sight (Euractiv)
  7. ^ "SIC mantém liderança nas audiências mas TVI encurta distância". 2 May 2022. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  8. ^ "Audiências de programas antigos". Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  9. ^ "Juventus-Benfica une quase 3 milhes em frente ao ecr - TV & Media - DN". DN. Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  10. ^ "TVI leva concorrência a mínimos com a final da "Liga dos Campeões"". A Televisão. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  11. ^ "Porto mobiliza audiência". Marktest. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Audiências Tv em Janeiro". Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  13. ^ "Audiências Tv em Maio". Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  14. ^ "Audiências Tv em Julho de 2006". Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  15. ^ "Audiências Tv em Junho de 2010". Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  16. ^ "Debate entre Passos e Costa com audiência histórica de 3,4 milhões". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  17. ^ "Audiência recorde para o Portugal-França". Retrieved 26 June 2016.


  • Nelson Traquina (1995). "Portuguese Television: The Politics of Savage Deregulation". Media, Culture & Society. 17.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 May 2022, at 19:04
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