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Court gives Venezuela net a reprieve

RCTV wins ruling on status

Venezuelan paybox RCTV Intl., which faced a Wednesday midnight deadline to register as a national content producer or be yanked off the air, has won a temporary reprieve from the country’s Supreme Court.

The court ruled that neither the Radio and Television Social Responsibility Law nor any other national lawclearly establishes the status of domestic and foreign audiovisual producers.

Still, RCTV chief exec Marcel Granier called the ruling a trick and said the decision is intended only to buy the government more time to find a way to banish the Miami-based paybox from the airwaves once and for all. 

Telecommunications minister Jesse Chacon said the government would abide by the court ruling even though it did not agree with it.

“It is simple: anything you produce (in Venezuela) is a domestic production. Any channel originating in Venezuela is a service of domestic audiovisual production,” Chacon declared.

Caracas refused to renew the 54-year-old web’s terrestrial broadcasting license in May, accusing it of insubordination and violation of broadcast laws.

RCTV has been transmitting its signal on cable and satellite TV since July 16. By registering as a national content provider, RCTV would be obliged to interrupt its programming to cover all political events and speeches by prexy Hugo Chavez.

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