Argentinian court upholds pay TV ban

Networks roll out telephony to increase revs

BUENOS AIRES — The Argentine Supreme Court has upheld a ban that stops telcos from offering pay TV.

The court based its decision on a 1980 federal broadcasting law and 1990 presidential decree that prohibit public service companies from offering pay TV.

The Argentine Cable Television Assn., which represents leading cablers including Cablevision, Multicanal and SuperCanal, filed the case to limit competition. Cablers and satcasters have 5.3 million subs, or half of the country’s TV homes.

Spain’s Telefonica, the biggest phone operator in Argentina and owner of a network of TV broadcasters, wants to offer TV over DSL broadband lines to help boost revenue per user.

Such a move would also expand the number of outlets for productions from its Telefe TV studio in Buenos Aires, including wrestling entertainment series “100% Lucha” (100% Wrestle) and people-trafficking drama “Vidas robadas” (Taking Lives).

Cablers are rolling out telephony on their lines to help increase revenue.

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