RCN, Caracol end pay-TV ceasefire
Juan Fernandez Gonzalez | 15 July 2014
After the so-called World Cup truce, RCN and Caracol are no longer required to continue broadcasting their channels on Colombia's pay-TV platforms. From tomorrow, if nothing changes, both networks will once again be off the premium schedules.

Last month, just before Brazilīs World Cup started, Caracol and RCN returned to pay-TV in Colombia, after the ANTV, the country's national TV association, instructed them to make their channels available for cable and satellite operators.

The conflict was particularly delicate at that time because both free-to-air (FTA) channels had World Cup rights, but only for HD through DTT - which only works in some areas - and through pay-TV platforms.

The problem started when Caracol and RCN attempted to make Claro, UNE, DirecTV and Movistar, among others, pay them for broadcasting their channels, while the cable and satellite operators said they shouldn't have to pay because both are FTA networks.

After several months of arguing, the conflict doesn't seem close to a resolution, as the pay-TV platforms have again confirmed that they have no intention of paying for Caracol and RCN. "In Colombia, Law 680 from 2011 obliges pay-TV operators to guarantee the reception of national, regional and local FTA signals in order to protect the right to information, education, entertainment and culture," said Marc Eichmann Perret, UNE's president.