Latin cable mart up

BUENOS AIRES — The seventh edition of the Jornadas de Cable, Latin America’s biggest annual pay TV fair, should see a record attendance of 20,000 industryites, host org ATVC claims.

Known simply as “the Jornadas” (which means daily sessions), the show runs from July 28-31 in the Argentine capital. The event is co-hosted this year by Cadissa, the Argentine chamber of satellite signal distributors, replacing technical association and longtime co-sponsor Caper.

The event is not only a trade show with some 6,400 square meters of space for booths, but also a convention that this year focuses on topics such as pay TV legislation in Latin America, the telecommunications market, cable modems and Internet use, and the introduction of premium channels and pay-per-view.

The Jornadas is also a platform for announcing new channels. Among those unveiling new wares will be the Cisneros TV Group, presenting its animation channel Locomotion (to date only available via satcast service DirecTV), United Family Communications with two family and home-oriented webs, and Disney, which may have news about its planned kiddie web.

According to ATVC prez Horacio Guibelalde, every programmer, distributor and carrier that wants to be a player in Latin America is present. He says cable operator fears of satcasters have subsided, partly because none has managed to enter Argentina yet, but also because operators feel sure that the Argentine cable industry is sufficiently mature that few subscribers will want to switch to a more expensive alternative.

“The talk of the town for 1997 is channel tiering and decoder boxes. Soccer is already encrypted and everyone is studying the possibility of making money with premium services, which are already offered by some operators,” Guibelalde said.

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