Madrid.— Spain's biggest television companies, Mediaset Espana and Antena 3, saw their profit for 2012 more than halved as advertisers hold back spending.

Mediaset Espana, part of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset empire, said yesterday it would not pay a dividend for 2012.
The company joins a growing list of Spanish firms, including Telefonica, which have cut or scrapped dividends to save cash.
The television advertising market shrank by 19 percent in 2012, according to internal Antena 3 estimates, while the overall advertising market dropped 16 percent in Spain.

Spain has been in recession since the end of 2011 and the unemployment rate currently stands at 26 percent.
Media companies in Spain are also pessimistic about advertising in 2013 and do not expect the market to recover until April 2014.
Market leader Mediaset Espana reported a 55 percent drop in net profit to 50.1 million euros ($65.68 million), while smaller rival Antena 3 said its net profit fell 66 percent to 31.9 million euros.

The two companies have a virtual duopoly in Spanish television after both merged with competitors to boost their market position.
Antena 3 merged with La Sexta in September, a move it said had cut costs by nine percent.
The company said its growing viewing figures had offset the worst effects of the advertising slowdown.
Indebted media company Prisa, with a host of newspaper, publishing and broadcast assets in Spain, Portugal and Latin America, will also post full-year results this week.