Europe

Bullfights on Spain public TV after 6-year ban

  • PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 11:  A fighting bull goes around Estafeta corner on the sixth day of the San Fermin running-of-the-bulls on July 11, 2011 in Pamplona, Spain. A Pamplona-like event is being considered in a suburb of Phoenix.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

    PAMPLONA, SPAIN - JULY 11: A fighting bull goes around Estafeta corner on the sixth day of the San Fermin running-of-the-bulls on July 11, 2011 in Pamplona, Spain. A Pamplona-like event is being considered in a suburb of Phoenix. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)  (2011 Getty Images)

  • Revelers run and fall in front of Fuente Ymbro's ranch fighting bulls during the running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, Wednesday, July 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

    Revelers run and fall in front of Fuente Ymbro's ranch fighting bulls during the running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival, in Pamplona, Spain, Wednesday, July 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)  (AP2012)

Spain's state TV will start airing live bullfights again after the new conservative government lifted a six-year ban on the tradition that has been hard hit by declining popularity and the economic crisis.

The first fight will be broadcast on the widely watched RTVE Wednesday evening from the northern city of Valladolid.

It's a big victory for pro-bullfighting forces who saw fights prohibited this year in the northeastern region of Catalonia. And it's a defeat for animal rights activists who denounce bullfighting as barbaric.

The live transmissions were halted in 2006 by Spain's previous Socialist administration, which said they were costly and coincided with youth TV viewing hours.

The Socialists lost power last year and new Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is a bullfighting fan.