“Spain nearly missed their country´s sporting finest hour...” | ENRIQUE CALVO

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It was one of the finest moments in Spanish sport on Sunday, our very own Rafa Nadal won his 21st Grand Slam and takes his place in sporting history. It was probably one of Spain´s greatest sporting triumphs only upstaged by the World Cup soccer victory in 2010.

But many Spaniards almost missed it. State broadcaster TVE did not show the match and I think I am right in saying that most Spaniards had to watch the match on Eurosport.

At a time when state broadcasters are in the spotlight, (TVE is funded by the government directly) surely matches like Rafa´s, should be on state terrestrial television because it is in the interest of the nation to be enjoyed by all? Otherwise, what is the point in having a government funded broadcaster? The BBC is in the same boat. Paid for by the British taxpayer but they also miss out on some of the top sporting events.

How can state broadcasters command big budgets when you have to watch a key match or programme on a private TV channel, funded by advertisers rather than the taxpayer but which costs the viewer nothing? I suspect if the BBC and TVE are to survive in these days of online streaming and satellite TV they are going to have to change dramatically.

Programmes and events in the national interest should be their mandate not trying to compete against the private channels.

Money which is being spent on state broadcasters could be invested in health and education, which is far more important.