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Best TV award in Colombia to RCN.

Since Movie/Video Age International started to give the Best TV Station Award to individual countries last year, reactions have been mixed. Apparently, everyone concerned considers their own country's TV system unique and undefinable according to our qualifying terms.

Canadians were a case in point when some of the people we interviewed barked back with, "What kind of a question is that?" Some other Canadians felt that our question, "What is Canada's best TV station?" was too insignificant to answer.

Now, when presenting a similar question to the Colombians, we find that, once again, they too consider themselves "unique." Answered a TV executive when asked what is the best TV station in Colombia: "This question does not apply to the market." Said another: "Colombia has a unique over the air television system. We believe it is not possible to establish which is Colombia's best channel." Another executive added, "There are no private TV channels in Colombia. Therefore |none' can be considered the best TV channel." After this challenging assignment, it is no wonder we look forward to giving the best TV award in the near future to a network in the Netherlands.

Indeed, Colombia features two government owned networks that only "rent" broadcast time for a fee to 14 or so national "programmers" who produce or acquire shows to fill their allocated time slots. The government also runs transmitters for four regional TV channels, programmed by local companies. Among the largest of the national programmers are Caracol and Radio Cadena Nacional (RCN), which each have 16 hours a week of programming, followed by CES and Radio Television Interamericana (RTI), which each have i4 and a half hours per week of programming. Other well known programmers are Jorge Baron TV which has i3 hours, and Tevecine, Punch, and Colombiana de TV, which each have 12 hours of programming.

Establishing the best programmer in Colombia is further complicated by the law requiring that programming on each channel (Canal 1 and Canal 2) has to be competitive. In other words, if Canal 1 has programmed a miniseries, Canal 2 has to schedule a telenovela. If one channel shows a comedy, the other must program a variety show and so on.

While some Americans consider RCN "the best company," it is more difficult to determine the "best programmer," since channel hopping is an hourly event. In any case, according to some Colombian producers, the best programmers on Channel 1 are RTI, Caracol and Cinevision, in that order. On Channel 2, now called Canal A, the best programmers are considered to be CES, RCN and Punch, in that order. To select the best from the two channels, this particular interllocuter chose RTI as the winner, with CES following. Other Colombians believe that Caracol offers the befit programming, followed by RCN. Caracol is also said to air the best movies which are counter-programmed by RCN. However, many Colombians are saying that while RTI has been the leader in the past, nowadays RCN is rising to the top. Rumors are also circulating that Caratol and RCN could be merging.

One then has to award the "Best TV in Colombia' prize to RCN for its leadership, overall excellence, intelligent counterprogramming and for its attachment to its well designed strategy. As a Colombian TV executive put it, even though RTI could get higher ratings than RCN, while at times RCN'S ratings can be very low, RCN still comes out on top as the most appreciated programmer.
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Title Annotation:A World of Hispanic TV; Radio Cadena Nacional
Publication:Video Age International
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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