laSexta (Spanish pronunciation: [la ˈse(k)sta], "The Sixth") is the sixth nationwide broadcast television station in Spain. It is privately owned and was originally founded on 18 March 2001 as Beca TV that began broadcasting on 1 April 2001, that same year.
By 21 July 2003, the channel ran into liquidation and was closed down for good, but two years later in 2005, it was replaced by a new channel called laSexta that began test transmissions on 25 November 2005, and a year later, it started broadcasting officially on 27 March 2006. The channel's programming is the generalist, however, there is an emphasis on humor and entertainment.
The channel is also known for its large quantity of American and sports programming, and in the last years, it's becoming more and more acknowledged due to the wide covering of political events, such as elections, which include extensive debate through 3 key programmes: Al Rojo Vivo (Red-hot), El Objetivo (The lens) and Salvador (Saved). The political alignment of its news and debate programs is left-wing.
In 2012 the channel was acquired by Grupo Antena 3, currently named Atresmedia Televisión.
LaSexta dates its history back to 2001 when it was originally launched as Beca TV. Upon its launch, it was a television data cast channel provided by Grupo Planeta to digital television viewers in Spain. It was first founded on 18 March 2001, and later, it began broadcasting on 1 April 2001, that same year in Madrid broadcasting 24 hours a day. The channel expanded to fellow Antena 3 stations in Barcelona and Valencia in 2002. Beca TV was modified for state-based programming and program promotions.
Beca TV was shut down on 21 July 2003, replaced by a full-screen simulcast of Antena 3 in preparation for the launch of the new terrestrial television channel in Spain called laSexta.
Two years later, after Beca TV was closed down, it was replaced by a new channel called laSexta. It was first founded as a TV production company on 25 November 2005 when it got its broadcast license. It began testing the broadcast on 12 December, shortly before knowing the analog frequencies assigned to Madrid and Barcelona.
On 23 December, broadcasts started in Madrid and Barcelona, expanding later to all Spain.
Starting 23 January 2006 they began broadcasting a promotional video. 20 February marked the start of content emissions testing. Actual broadcasts started with documentaries (Champions, Natura) and programs dedicated to tuning, like 'Tuning Mania'. From 22 February, La Sexta broadcast twelve hours of programming every day.
On 2 March, a football match between Croatia and Argentina was the occasion for the first live broadcast. Five days before the actual date, José Miguel Contreras announced the official starting date, 27 March, on the 'Círculo de Bellas Artes'.