RCTV back in Venezuela

Network returns to airwaves

Venezuelan web RCTV will hit the airwaves once again on Monday, albeit on cable and satellite TV only. Country’s prexy Hugo Chavez opted not to renew the net’s terrestrial broadcasting license in May, accusing it of backing a 2002 coup against him and violating broadcast laws.

The 53-year-old broadcaster will reach at least 50% of the country via its carriage on satellite platform DirecTV and local cable ops Planet, Inter and Net Uno; it sported 94% terrestrial coverage in the past. Web stands to earn 85% less in ad revenues via the cable and sat platforms, which charge far lower rates.

RCTV’s 24-hour original programming grid will continue virtually unchanged starting at 6 a.m. Monday.

“It’s unfair that Venezuelans now will have to pay for what they used to see for free,” said RCTV director general Marcel Granier.

Web will continue to fight to recover its terrestrial broadcasting rights through local courts and the Human Rights Tribunal.

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