April 17, 2014

13 licences given to community tv

Saturday, December 28, 2013

AFSCA postpones Clarín’s decision

In its last meeting in the year, AFSCA media watchdog made a decision to benefit community TV, authorizing 13 TV signals to work analoguely but the members of the board did not decide over the adjustment plans presented by 11 media groups, which was the most awaited decision.

For the office headed by Martín Sabbatella, 2013 was a crucial year. After the Supreme Court declared constitutional the Broadcasting Law in October, the AFSCA media watchdog was in the eye of the storm, having to implement the anti-monopoly law which has divided waters since it was passed in 2009.

Although Sabbatella had promised to examine the adjustment plans filed by several media groups by the end of the year, he did not keep that promise. Yesterday it was known that the AFSCA board agreed to give licences to 13 comunity TV signals, including six from Buenos Aires province: Channel 12 (Saladillo), Channel 4 (General Madariaga), Channel 5 (San Miguel), Channel 6 from Moreno and Channel 6 from Coronel Suárez and Channel 5 (Berisso). From Buenos Aires City, the AFSCA watchdog authorized the so-called Barricada TV. From Santa Fe province, three channels were given their licences and another three from the rest of the country.

As the AFSCA media watchdog yesterday informed in a press release, Sabbatella decided to keep open the sessions for January and February, as they have to analyze 11 adjustment plans filed by several media groups, including Telefónica, which owns Telefe, and Clarín media group.

Clarín, the government’s media foe, filed a plan to adjust to the limits established by the Media Law, proposing to divide the biggest media conglomerate in the country into six sub-units.The media group has admitted about 160 cable TV licences, whereas Kirchnerite officials estimated them in around 200. However, Clarín’s presentation unified and reorganized some licences and eventually acknowledged having 60 systems in its submission. Officials sources told the Herald that that controversy might fall into oblivion and that in the upcoming months, the AFSCA media watchdog is likely to approve Clarín’s proposal.

Sources also said that Telefónica will be ordered to sell Telefe channel and its eight TV stations in provinces to comply with the Media Law but the final word has not been said. The legislation passed in 2009 establishes in Article 24 that nobody who runs a public service is allowed to have a licence.

Ruling against Clarín in Córdoba. Cablevisión, the Clarín’s cable TV company, must add the Córdoba’s news channel CBA24N to its basic service within 20 days, according to a ruling released yesterday by an Appeals Court in that province. CBA24N is the only Argentine news channel broadcasting outside of Buenos Aires. It was founded in 2011 by the National University of Córdoba, but Clarín rejected to have this channel in its grid. A judge ruled last September that this signal had to be accepted by the almost monopolistic cable system in Córdoba, and the decision was ratified yesterday.

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