Clarin networks to boost digital spend

Units to add 50 -70 digital radio.TV channels

BUENOS AIRES — Argentinean cablers Cablevision and Multicanal plan to invest a combined $500 million through 2010 in digital channels, broadband infrastructure and the introduction of voice services.

The companies, both controlled by the country’s biggest media conglom Grupo Clarin, will add 50 to 70 digital radio and TV channels to their 74-feevee lineup and expand two-way broadband lines from 42% to 70% of the network so they can start rolling out voice-over-Internet telephony in June, said Carlos Moltini, Cablevision g.m. and spokesman for Multicanal.

The cablers, which have a combined 52% of the country’s 5 million pay TV subs, plan to enter the voice market as telephone companies like Telefonica and Telecom try to offer pay TV over DSL broadband lines, something the government so far has prohibited.

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