Stay off DTT subsidies, Mexican Govt ordered

Juan Pablo Conti ©RapidTVNews | 23-11-2011

Fearing that the Government might be seeking to politically exploit the development of Mexico's digital terrestrial TV (DTT) in the run-up to next year's general elections, opposition MPs have succeeded in blocking the use of public funds to subsidise the technology.
The prohibition, driven by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), will remain in place at least until after the general elections are held on 1 July, 2012.
In an article signed by José Yuste and published by Mexican newspaper Excélsior yesterday, PRI MPs were quoted as arguing that their move was justified by the fact that "the recent re-election of Cristina Kirchner in Argentina had been possible in part thanks to the handing out of televisions and set-top boxes".
The restriction was included in Transitory Article 15 of the 2012 Federal Budget. In it, it is stated that: "it is forbidden to use public resources [...] to fully or partially subsidise, or to lend economic support of any kind to households or the general population with regards to the acquisition of electronic equipment and/or household appliances connected with digital television, as well as the handing out to households or the general population of such types of equipment until after the conclusion of the 2012 federal electoral process".
The freezing of public money for DTT will add to the list of hurdles that President Felipe Calderón has been facing in his attempts to accelerate the introduction of the platform in Mexico.
In September 2010, a presidential decree brought forward the analogue TV switch-off date from 2021 to 2015. While the Supreme Court of Justice has now confirmed the legality of the decree (following strong criticism from opposition MPs), such confirmation only materialised last week – over a year after the original political decision