Chile's pay-TV operators to pay for free-to-air content

Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 04-10-2013

Chile's DTT regulation is nearly finalised, but some new specifications are still waiting to be added. The most recent clause to be approved is the so-called 'permitted broadcasting' rule, under which pay-TV operators will have to pay in order to broadcast content from free-to-air channels.

Through this, the DTT regulation is recognising the property rights of free-to-air signals, a claim they have long been requesting. However, the new conditions will only work for those channels which broadcast under the digital system. As long as they are still broadcasting under analogue, pay-TV operators can freely broadcast their content.
The regulation conforms to a former claim from some of the national channels, represented by Anatel. Its president, Ernesto Corona, had previously stated that "content is our only patrimony, in which we invest money, talent and time, and nobody should be able to use it without our permission".
Chile's DTT regulation now seems ready for a last round of political debate, both in Congress and Senate. After four years of drawn out discussions, the law is nearly ready. According to Jorge Attom, Chile's telecoms secretary, the DTT service can now be extended throughout the country. It's estimated that around 40% of population currently have access to DTT.