Fee issues disrupts Paraguay's free-to-air and pay-TV


Juan Fernandez Gonzalez

| 24 September 2015

Paraguay's free-to-air (FTA) channels have been taken off pay-TV schedules for a week, as first Claro and Personal, and then Tigo, decided to stop broadcasting them.

The reason behind the move is that fact that the FTA networks are demanding a fee to air the channels, something that the pay-TV operators find unacceptable, but which has been supported by the telecom authority, Conatel.

According to Catelpar, an association comprising eight out of the 11 Paraguayan FTA signals, pay-TV operators charge subscribers for a large channel offering in which FTA channels are also included, but the FTA networks don't receive any part of this.

A similar conflict occurred last year in Colombia between pay-TV companies and Caracol TV and RCN. The national TV association, ANTV, decided that pay-TV operators should not be charged by free-to-air TV stations.

For the moment, however, it looks like the Paraguayan channels will continue being delivered by the pay-TV operators as, according to Tigo, an in extremis agreement was reached yesterday (23 September), and LaTele, Red Guarani TV, Telefuturo, SNT Cerro Corá, Paravision, Sur TV PY, Paraná TV, Canal 13 Paraguay, Paraguay TV and Unicanal will continue to air through cable networks, as part of the basic packages from Millicom's Tigo Star, América Móvil's Claro TV and Personal TV.