BUENOS AIRES — Leading programmer Imagen Satelital is facing a major loss of revenue following the cancellation of its pay networks by Argentina’s No. 3 cable operator, Supercanal, after its contract with Imagen expired July 1.
Five weeks have passed since Supercanal, which serves around 500,000 subs, yanked off the air some dozen channels sup-plied by Imagen, a subsidiary of the Miami-based Cisneros Television Group.
The move was great news for some of Cisneros’ U.S. rivals, as Supercanal replaced the nets with fare including Cartoon Network, TNT and Discovery. Talks to resolve the issue appear to have led nowhere.
Supercanal prez Daniel Vila has claimed that Imagen levied from him a much higher monthly fee than from the top two MSOs — 85 cents per subscriber versus an average 40 cents.
Imagen topper Alberto Gonzalez has countered that Supercanal under-reported its sub count — a common practice in Ar-gentina — and should have been paying the programmer $700,000 monthly rather than $400,000.
Imagen has threatened legal action, saying Supercanal failed to give the necessary advanced notice of the decision to cancel.
Imagen is also waging a campaign to encourage Supercanal subs to call their local operators and ask for the reinstatement of its channels.