Aprende TV is a learning experience

Cablers bow edu channel

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s leading cable trade group launched an education and culture channel Jan. 19 that is mandatory for all restricted access platforms in the country.

Aprende TV (Learn TV) programming includes educational shows as well as cultural content such as live concerts and Mexican and foreign films.

The channel was developed by the National Chamber of the Cable Television Industry (Canitec), which serves more than 500 of Mexico’s cable and satellite television operators, in co-ordination with the secretary of public education. The two institutions signed to create Aprende TV last March.

Canitec is shouldering the $1 million startup costs, while the Education Secretary is providing much of its content. PC-TV, Mexico’s largest consortium of independent cable operators, will also provide and develop content.

Intended audience ranges from children to adults, and Canitec is creating a Web site with information on cultural and educational programming across all channels.

The government funds two public TV channels, Canal 11 and Canal 22, as well as the Congressional Channel, which is equivalent to C-SPAN.

“The cultural content that doesn’t appear on broadcast television and doesn’t have a window of opportunity, because it’s not commercial, not saleable, that’s what we’ll have here,” says Canitec prexy Alejandra Puente.