Uruguay opens tender for new free-to-air channels

Iñaki Ferreras ©RapidTVNews | 05-01-2012

Uruguay has started a bidding process for all those interested in providing TV services through the 9 and 11 VHF networks in Paso de los Toros and Durazno respectively.
Both networks had been used by Uruguay's three private networks (channels 4, 10 and 12) to broadcast the 1982 football World Cup, via the Uruguayan TV Network S.A. (RUTSA) company. Once the tournament ended, a temporary time extension was given to the networks to continue running both channels. Now thirty years later, the government finally decided to start an open call to regularise the situation.
According to 'La Diaria' newspaper, the government considers that, since there was no competition to see who would gain the right to use the networks, RUTSA is providing pay-TV services in a completely irregular manner.#
The government has ruled out the possibility of RUTSA taking back control over both networks in a competitive way since the current law prevents two of the companies in the organisation to use them. This law "prevents one person from benefiting from completely or partially owning over two networks on each of the three broadcasting stations (OM-FM-TV)." Some companies have already shown an interest in Channel 11.