Caracol, RCN remove HD channels from pay-TV schedule
Juan Fernandez Gonzalez
| 05 May 2014
The free-to-air (FTA) vs. pay-TV conflict in Colombia has escalated in recent weeks with Caracol and RCN removing their HD channels from the country’s pay-TV schedule, demanding a payment to keep them on-air.
This has caused the country's regulator ANTV has to step in to the conflict. According to the FTA networks, cable and satellite operators pay for the HD channels of other premium networks, and therefore should also be paying Caracol and RCN. What started two weeks ago as a move by Caracol to put pressure on operators has now been followed by RCN and a solution doesn’t seem to be near.
The tug-of-war will reportedly be solved by ANTV during first week of June, before the World Cup starts. The two networks will broadcast the games, although, for the moment, they won't be available in HD for the nearly one million of pay-TV viewers who have subscribed to the high-definition service.
The HD service can also be watched through DTT, but the digital signal is currently only available in the capital district of Bogotá and the country's second biggest cities Medellín and Cartagena.
According to Caracol, the conflict started in February, when the channel contacted the pay-TV operators asking for payment to broadcast its HD version. An answer was required before 16 April, but never came, which led Caracol to stop broadcasting.