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Colombia Forms TV Alliance.

Programmers, cable operators and DTH service providers met in Cartagena, Colombia to address critical problems that continue to plague the development and growth of the legitimate subscription television industry in Colombia. The meeting, organized by the U.S.-based Television Association of Programmers (TAP) Latin America, brought together various sectors of the industry that agreed to work together on three issues: signal theft, the compilation of a comprehensive industry database for Colombia and the exorbitant tax structure currently being applied to the pay-TV business in Colombia.

The group agreed that it is critical to expose operators that transmit programming signals without express authorization from the TV networks. The continued expansion of these pirates undermines the ability of legitimate cable and DTH operators to mature. It also sends a sign to consumers that stealing subscription television is not a crime.

A possible solution to the problem is to create an industry-wide database that lists all legal cable operators and their audited subscriber numbers for other operators, programmers and equipment suppliers that are interested in investing in the Colombian market. All operators at the meeting agreed to an audit of their systems in order to participate in the Colombian Pay-TV Defense Alliance.

The Alliance also concluded to give possible tax cuts to cable operators that pay the federal government. These taxes, the highest in the region, cut into the operators' ability to reinvest in the cable system and will ultimately stunt the evolution of the broadband market in Colombia. The Colombian Pay-TV Defense Alliance agreed to meet before the end of March to announce the specific goals and activities of the alliance.
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Publication:Video Age International
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:3COLO
Date:Apr 1, 2001
Words:270
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