Addressing Issues in Argentina Is TAP's Business.


Latin America's position as a rapidly growing multichannel television market has placed the territory on the fast-track in the global television business. Argentina, along with Brazil and Mexico, represents the leading market in this booming business sector. In spite of -- or perhaps because of -- such growth, there is still uncertainty in some areas: regulation, demographic data and audience measurement.

To address some of these issues, programmers serving the region formed a trade association in 1995 to serve Latin American needs: the Television Association of Programmers, Latin America -- more commonly known as TAP Latin America.

Regulation covering multichannel television is still in a period of development in Argentina as well as throughout Latin America, as governments begin to address the need to accommodate a growing broadband environment.

The Argentine government proposed a system that would require programmers to pay a monthly fee and subject the content of their programs to government review to ensure adherence to certain cultural requirements. The local operators proposed this alternative as a way to avoid the liability of inappropriate programming.

However, in order to avoid government regulation of content, TAP crafted a compromise with the Argentine Cinematography Council (ACC) and the Argentine Cable Television Association (ATVC). The local cable operators' association submits their program schedules monthly to ATVC with an indication of the ratings assigned to them in the country of origin. ATVC then passes the schedule along to ACC. For purposes of ratings classification, TAP members adopted the system created by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in the U.S.

TAP also took an aggressive position against an Argentine tax on all forms of intellectual copyrights, including pay TV and...

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