Argentina demands “must carry” for public TV
October 29, 2012
By Chris Forrester
The head of Argentina’s Audiovisual Communications Services Federal Authority (Afsca), Martin Sabbatella, says every public broadcaster’s signals must be included in any Pay TV operator’s programming schedules. “Whoever does not do it will be breaking the law and will affect the right to information for millions of people”, he stressed.
Sabbatella initially spoke about a DTT channel for children, Pakapaka, which is currently available on Cablevision’s distribution system but only for digital or premium subscribers. Satellite DTH operator DirecTV only broadcasts the channel from 7 am to 7 pm. “Children’s channel Pakapaka must be incorporated in cable schedules all over the country. It is established in the Audiovisual Communication Services Law, and it is also approved by the Justice Department. They must obey the law which is the same for everyone,” Sabbatella explained.
Article 65 of the Audiovisual Communication Services Law and Afsca’s Resolution 296/10, states that Pay TV services “must include Radio Television Argentina State Society’s broadcast and signals, every public signal from the National State and every other in which the State participates in, with no encryption”. The law refers to channels such as Pakapaka, Encuentro and Tecnopolis TV, among many others.
On September 14th the Argentine Supreme Court of Justice ratified the validity and mandatory status of the Audiovisual Media Law and demanded the different local cable operators to obey what the law expects. They should also comply with the programming schedule stated by Argentina’s regulating agency Afsca.