B’caster Azul faces fine over talker flap

Alfano bares all on Memoria, Comfer sees rights violations

BUENOS AIRES — The No. 3 Argentine broadcaster Azul faces a stiff fine from Comfer, the government’s broadcasting regulator, after chatshow host Chiche Gelblung encouraged model Graciela Alfano to bare her breasts during his evening primetime show Memoria.

Azul has moved downmarket since management was taken over earlier this year by Spain’s Telefonica Media. The move makes commercial sense, to differentiate the channel from leader Telefe, also owned by Telefonica.

But the populist tendencies have run foul of increased regulatory zeal by Comfer, prompted by the change of Argentine government in December.

In an initial report, Comfer has ruled that Gelblung’s show earlier this month contravened three different sections of the national broadcasting act.

A commission spokesperson said the transmission exposing the model’s breasts violated the right to privacy and the child protection act, as well as offending morality and decency.

The regulator has given Azul 10 days to contest the charges, after which it will take around two weeks to make a ruling and determine the amount of the fine.