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Argentina launches free digital TV platform

Effort includes entertainment, film, kiddie and news content

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina has launched a digital TV feed for state and private feevees delivered for free via satellite connections, a $2 billion effort aimed at widening access to information.

“We’re democratizing the access to technology for all sectors of our society,” Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner said late Monday.

The content will be transmitted via state satellites and a system of 47 antennas, beginning with five this year.

The service will reach 75% of the 40.1 billion populace, offering an initial seven feevees including pubcaster Canal 7, education net Canal Encuentro, kiddie channel Paka Paka and the news feevees C5N, CN23 and Telesur. Later, the private broadcasters Canal 9 and Telefe as well as film net INCAA TV will enter the fold.

The roster will expand to 16 channels, with most content developed locally.

Fernandez de Kirchner said the effort is in part a response to rising pay TV costs, which she said have gone up 300% over the past few years without improvements in the content.

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