RTA will broadcast experimental private channels in TDT

The Argentine Government authorized by Decree Radio y Televisión Argentina (RTA) the installation, functioning and operation of the experimental free-to-air digital TV system, which temporarily will broadcast through private channels in those areas where licenses have been granted. To such ends, frequencies already assigned to RTA will be utilized and 22-to-15 channels under UHF band will be included.

At present, RTA "does not produce the total number of channels required to broadcast experimentally", decree 1010, published in the Official Bulletin, explained. Therefore, "own and third parties' channels created for free-to-air or pay TV stations" will be broadcasted. The State will be able to execute agreements with the owners of such channels, which in turn will have to enable them free-of-charge.

According to Argentine Digital TV forums, the decree would formalize the broadcasting of third parties' channels in the state-owned network, which is already happening in frequencies assigned to RTA before the release of the official document. Several users state having received between 11 and 15 channels a few weeks ago, though there are no details about the number or received channels. The following are mentioned: the cable channel Crónica, a Japanese channel and another channel from Neuquén, which repeats the private channel Telefé programming, among others.

Since it is a temporary measure, it has not been specified whether in the future free-to-air TV channels will be able to utilize the network deployed by the Government for RTA in the whole country, or they will have to generate their own networks. The Government estimates that by 2012 about 100 rebroadcasting facilities, which provide coverage to the 95% of the territory. After the experimental stage, the National Digital Audiovisual Communication Services Plan that will govern the broadcasting conditions during the transition towards digital systems.