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Argentina bans satcaster

Court responds to TDH suit

BUENOS AIRES — An Argentine court has ordered a temporary ban on the entry of Hughes-backed satcaster Galaxy Latin America (GLA) and on advance publicity for the same.

The entry ban is, for the time being, academic, as GLA is still waiting for the U.S. and Argentina to sign a satellite reciprocity deal before it can start beaming to Argentine homes, but that accord is expected within a few months.

The court was responding to a suit lodged by local satcaster TDH, a small-scale operation controlled by the Vila Group (majority owners of No. 3 MSO Supercanal).

Cristina Aredjian, marketing manager for Galaxy Argentina (a distribution partnership between GLA and local media conglom Clarin) said her company has received no official notification of the court decision.

TDH and local satellite operator NahuelSat — a privately-held monopoly — both argue that a reciprocity deal would benefit the U.S. only.

Satcasters GLA and News Corp.-backed Sky would have direct access to the lucrative Argentine pay TV market, while there would be little demand for the use of NahuelSat in order to beam into the U.S.

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