IB3 was launched when there was a Partido Popular government. | C. VIERA

In 2022, the publicly funded IB3 television channel captured 5.1% of audience share in the Balearics. Not huge, this was nevertheless the best figure since 2015 and represented the second highest annual growth among regional channels.

Some 1.1 million people watched IB3 at some stage in 2022, the highest number since it was launched in 2005. Despite this small success, there is a political party who would shut IB3 down. Vox don’t care for the channel’s Catalan programming, while they believe that it has become something of a propaganda tool for the current left-wing coalition government. Vox stress that they wouldn’t want IB3 to be their mouthpiece. Get rid of it, they argue.

IB3 was launched when there was a Partido Popular government. Political bias both ways has been levelled at it ever since. That’s a hardly uncommon accusation made of public broadcasters, be they in the Balearics, Spain or elsewhere. But putting this to one side, and accepting that audience share is only modest, there should be a continuing role for the channel. It should be something to which people can feel that they can turn.

Out of a total government budget of 7,133 million euros in 2023, IB3’s 37 million is hardly enormous. It employs people and it encourages local producers - the creative industries sector that is seen as having potential for development. Vox maintain that there would still be an “infinity of work” without spending public money. Maybe, but does IB3 not offer a showcase to obtaining this work?