A quarrel between private television channels, Caracol and RCN and cable operators is one of the “fiercest” in the telecommunications industry in the country for some time.
An unexpected decision by the Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio (SIC), ordered Telmex Colombia, Colombia Telecomunicaciones, Directv, ETB and EPM to refrain from broadcasting the analog signal of Caracol and RCN, unless it has authorization to do so from the television channels.
Caracol and RCN jointly requested an injunction against the aforementioned cable operators, who, according to the SIC, may use “unfair competition in violating the rights of the television stations”.
Immediately after the SIC decision, the television channels sent the first blow, telling cable operators that its analog signal would be available for use by cable operators only until December of this year, after which the operators would have to renegotiate their agreement.
On the counterattack, Telmex, UNE, Movistar and Direct tv presidents met for hours to lay out a plan. Experts expected the cable operators to throw in the towel, the most sensible option. However, the response was much more aggressive.
Together the four operators announced that they will abide by the decision of the SIC, so immediately after they are notified, they will shut down the analog signal of Caracol and RCN.
“The pay TV operators respect the decisions of the judges of the Republic even though, in this case, contrary rulings of the Constitutional Court and affect the interests of millions of viewers”, they announced.
The decision, within days of the World Cup, will affect more than 3 million who currently have cable and satellite television services (save for Directv that has broadcast rights) could be without the World Cup games broadcasts by Caracol and RCN, on their cable channels.
Source: El Tiempo (Colombia)