Latin America's pay-TV regulations creating inequality

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 30-09-2013

The different laws and regulations for media in Latin America may be generating inequality in the pay-TV sector. During Jornadas Internacionales, organised by AVTV – Argentina's association of cable TV – the region's different models were discussed, with special focus on Argentina's media law.

José Felix, from Brazil's Net, described its country's example as a way of improving an industry through law. According to him, after removing the licences' limits and creating a stable environment for investment, the competition experienced great growth.

"There is no geographical limit for the licences and with a relative low budget it's possible to accede to a satellite or cable permission," said Felix. "Now it's possible to invest and plan the future of the industry."

The situation in Argentina is radically different. The law doesn't guarantee the future of the investments, so competition is being affected. "One cable licence lasts for ten years and may not be renewed," explained Carlos Moltini, from Cablevision. "The investments need from seven to nine years to return, and at the same tame the telcos operate with more advantages," which he says generates unequal conditions within which to compete.

Venezuela has other problems related to the sector's development and the difficulties in purchasing technology. According to Eduardo Stigol from Intercable, the law is quite advanced in Venezuela but the main problems are related to importation rules and the currency's instability.