|Launched||10 September 1988 (Test transmission)
10 September 1989 (Official)
|Owned by||Televisió de Catalunya|
|Audience share||1.5% (November 2012, )|
|Broadcast area||Catalonia, Andorra, Northern Catalonia, Balearic islands and Valencian Country|
|Headquarters||Sant Joan Despí|
|Formerly called||Canal 33 (1988-2001)|
|PAL||Vall d'Albaida: 38 UHF|
|Digital||Barcelona: Mux 61
Girona: Mux 60
Lleida: Mux 58
Tarragona: Mux 59
Northern Catalonia: Mux 37
Balearic Islands: Mux 26 Andorra: Mux 36
Baix Cinca: Mux 59
Castelló: Mux 47
València: Mux 37
Ribera and Safor: Mux 55
|ONO||Catalonia: Channel 11
Valencian Country: Channel 11
|Movistar TV||Catalonia: Channel 4|
The idea of a second channel in Catalonia began in 1988, with a controversy between Televisión Española, which planned to launch a third channel exclusively for Catalonia and produced solely in Sant Cugat del Vallès, but the CCRTV (Corporació Catalana de Ràdio i Televisió) had planned to launch the second channel called Canal 33.
This provoked a struggle between the Spanish government and the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan government), which was not resolved until 1989. Televisió de Catalunya began its trial broadcasts for Canal 33 on September 10, 1988 (the eve of National Day of Catalonia), much to the surprise for both Spanish Government and the Generalitat. UHF Channel 47 in Barcelona was allocated to this channel. The Director-General of Telecommunications ordered TVE to interfere with the new channel's signal, while Televisió de Catalunya tried to circumvent the boycott with an illegal broadcaster that later had to be withdrawn.
Finally, there was a negotiation between the conflicting parties and the Ministry of Transport granted four frequencies in April for Barcelona, Tarragona, Lleida and Girona. Thus the channel was able to begin its regular broadcasts on April 23, 1989. According to its first director, Enric Casals, the programming would be dedicated to regional news, culture and sports. Subsequently, TVE failed to materialize the project of its third channel, which helped Canal 33 consolidate in Catalonia.
The network began broadcasting programs previously transmitted by TV3 and movies during prime time, On 10 September 1989, Canal 33 began its official broadcast with its own programming during prime time. The channel aired some programs of TV3 such as the music show, Sputnik and sci-fi series like Star Trek.
In 1992, coinciding with the Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Canal 33 became "Canal Olímpic" (the Olympic Channel, in Catalan) through an agreement between the CCRTV and TVE to offer round-the-clock coverage of the Olympics, exclusively in Catalan with news and live broadcasts.
Subsequently, the channel expanded its transmitter coverage and transmission hours, especially during daytime in the mid-1990s. Educational programs such as Graduï's, ara pot and Universitat Oberta were included in their schedules, documentaries, children's and juvenile series within the Club Super3 brand. The channel also began to retransmit sports programs that TV3 had no place in their schedules such as basketball or roller hockey. On Monday, 8 January 1996, to strengthen the channel, broadcasting hours were extended (from 7:30 in the morning until 2:00 at night or late) and also changed its corporate image, simplifying and maintained its characteristic symbol, the logo for Canal 33. The program was consolidated to a specialized audience, public service and an alternative to TV3.
On Monday, 23 April 2001, coinciding with the anniversary of Canal 33's first regular broadcasts, CCRTV restructured its second channel. Due to the increasing development of children's and youth programming on Canal 33, the broadcaster decided to create a new dedicated children's, youth and educational channel called K3, broadcasting on the same analogue frequency of Canal 33. Thus, K3 would broadcast in the mornings and Canal 33 would broadcast from night time until closedown.
The restructuring was completed on 7 May 2001, when Canal 33 changed its name and logo, renaming it El 33. The channel began broadcasting 24 hours a day. Its programming happened to have a more cultural and experimental approach and made room for more programs that deepen its own production in Catalan culture. Sports programming was also broadcast.
In December 2006, another restructuring was made that split into two channels that shared the same frequency: El 33 and K3. El 33 became a full-fledged channel, 24 hours a day, whereas K3 timeshared with the now defunct channel Canal 300 and subsequently with 3XL. The CCRTV decided to split its channels only on digital terrestrial, however, it continued to maintain its traditional timeshare broadcast for K3-33 in analogue, until the analogue switchover was completed in April 2010.
With the launch of DTT and the restructuring of television channels in Catalonia, studying the possibility of creating a sports channel to make El 33, a full-fledged cultural channel. Thus, on 22 October 2010, Esport3, the new sports channel, started its test broadcasts, which subsequently began its regular broadcasts on 5 February 2011. This restructure had caused El 33 to lose its sports programming and became an eminently cultural channel. Among other things, this allows to expand and improve the production and disseminating cultural offerings and stabilize the channel and to regularly supply "prime time" programming for this channel, which looked altered because of the schedule of sports broadcasts.
On Monday, 1 October 2012, following the closure of 3XL, El 33 now shares its time with Canal Super3, from 21:30 to 06:00, due to the reorganization of certain channels to adapt Spain's ongoing economic situation.
El 33 is a cultural and alternative channel. El 33's programming consists of cultural programs, documentaries, debates, and some series. Formerly, this channel broadcast children's and youth programming, as well as sports programming and sport events, but these programmes had moved to both Canal Super3 and Esport3, respectively.
Users can watch El 33 and all its programs in the 3alacarta website.
- Official Site (in Catalan)