Pols unsure of CNTV future

Regulator plagued by pay TV pirates

BOGOTA — Colombia’s National TV Commission (CNTV) could be abolished in March if lawmakers approve a package of political reforms now under review.

Congressmen last week criticized the regulator for overspending and ineptitude, notably in its failure to deal with the country’s 3 million home pirate pay TV market, which dwarfs the 270,000 home legitimate arena.

After six years, the CNTV — plagued by political infighting — has pretty much returned to square one in its plan to license those operators willing to play by the rules and to prosecute others.

But while most industry voices welcome the move to scrap the body, some say it will further delay the licensing and regulation of the cable sector.

The proposal coincided with a three-day visit by representatives from the Motion Picture Assn. and U.S.-based Latino cabler group TAP, to protest Colombia’s inaction against the pirates.

If the reform is passed, the communications ministry will take over TV regulation.

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