MADRID: The volume of TV commercials shown in Spain is continuing to rise, largely as a consequence of increasing fragmentation.

Zenithmedia, the agency network, estimated that just over 2m spots were aired during the first quarter of 2011, up from 1.7m a year earlier.

This amount has also grown by 17% annually since 2007, before the financial crisis exerted a profound impact on spending among brand owners.

Perhaps the main contributor to these trends is the surging array of digital stations, "which do not yet have a large audience, but increase the total number of spots."

In terms of duration, aggregate minutage climbed by 15% to 656,093, again mostly as a result of DTT channels, which helped offset the double-digit contraction generated by mainstream national and regional broadcasters.

La Sexta recorded the highest daily time committed to ads, on 225 minutes, although this constituted a 6% decrease year on year.

Antena 3 was down by 15.5% across the same timeframe, logging 203 minutes, while Telecinco posted 202.8 minutes and Cuatro registered 197.3 minutes.

Turning to gross ratings points, figures dropped by 2% to 656,622, measured against 850,888 in 2008, 774,756 in 2009 and 668,076 in 2010.

Warc's last Consensus Forecast predicted TV adspend will rise by 2.4% in Spain this year, with the entire advertising market up by 1.1%.

Data sourced from El Mundo; additional content by Warc staff