Argentina’s media regulator is suspending Russia Today’s (RT) Spanish-language channel. Another channel, TeleSUR TV, is similarly affected.
The situation is somewhat confusing given that the move was quickly cited as being an act of censorship by TeleSur TV’s president who added that it has come about because of Argentina’s right-wing government led by president Mauricio Macri.
However, the channels can stay on air within pay-TV bouquets. The suspension of RT takes place in 60 days from June 7th.
The confusion comes about because of a letter sent to RT (and TeleSur) saying there was a need to “renew the programming listings” for the nation ahead of the introduction of DTT.
According to a statement on the RT web-site: “The official explanation has been that they need those channels presently occupied by the RT Spanish signal, and also the TeleSur Venezuela signal. The government is saying, officially, that they need those two frequency slots to transmit provincial channels, channels from Argentinian provinces, for example Tierra del Fuego which is way down in the South,” said international political analyst and RT contributor Adrian Salbuchi. “But that is hardly a credible explanation of any sort whatsoever.”
Argentina’s media regulator also spoke of its “gratitude” for past co-operation, and added that the decision “does not prevent the conclusion of other future partnerships”.