Four Companies in South America.

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Azul TV was founded as Telearte June 9, 1960, and broadcast on Channel 9 to Buenos Aires. Alejandro Romay served as station director from 1961 until 1974, when the government assumed control of the station. During his tenure, Romay made Channel 9 one of the premier stations in Argentina.

Romay resumed command of the company in 1984, when the new democratic government relinquished control.

In December of 1997, Prime Television and ACI bought Telearte from Romay and renamed the television station Azul TV last January. Pablo Galli Villafane is the CEO and Jorge Gonzales Roulet has assumed programming manager duties.

As a distributor, some of Azul TV's fare includes the telenovelas Rich and Famous, Top Models and Living With My Ex.

In 1997, Imagen Satelital was purchased by Cisneros Television Group. Since this acquisition, Imagen has focused on the development of its individual brands. These channels include I-Sat, which branded Imagen a pioneer in CDV (compressed digital video); Infinito, a 24-hour documentary channel; Uniseries, a round-the-clock news and series channel; Jupiter Comic, dedicated to comedies; and Venus, an adult entertainment channel. Imagen's channel selection also includes Space, MuchMusic and HTV.

By joining the digital world, Imagen has implemented major technological changes. The first stage has been the investment of more than $10 million in "last-generation" hardware.

According to Elisabet Blanco, transforming all the audiovisual material to digital format means Imagen will be one of the few companies in Latin America that will use a data storage system for its video library and will transmit completely automated six 24-hour-per-day channels.

The origins of TyC Sports can be traced to the union between two Argentinean companies: Grupo Clarin and Torneos y Competencias (TyC). Clarin is one of the larger media groups in Argentina (see Ownership Maze, page 24) and its newspaper has the highest circulation in Latin America. TyC deals in television rights for sports transmissions, with a special interest in soccer.

From the union of these holdings, two new companies were created: Television Satelital Codificada (TSC) and Tele Red Imagen (TRISA). TRISA is dedicated to the commercialization of top national and international sporting events. As such, TyC Sports was...

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