In late September, they met in Bogota PRAI partners to consolidate the entity and define the work of the coming years. Colombia took office.

While it is true that technologies to produce and consume audiovisual content are advancing rapidly and generate changes which channels, producers, subscription TV operators and viewers, in regulation seems that things are not going the same pace.

Richard St. S.

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For five years, the countries of Latin America and Central America come forward reform policies governing television, some based on technology and other politically motivated. But the question everyone is asking is whether these changes has prepared them to face the challenges bring new realities for the sector.

How to prepare, what to regulate and what is the limit of the new rules, were some of the questions discussed during the last meeting of the Platform of Regulatory Audiovisual in Latin America, PRAI, held in Colombia in late September and which brought together representatives of 14 countries.

Speaking at the forum, the Minister of ICT of Colombia, Diego Molano Vega, she caused controversy with his presentation, because it gave a vision that some described as fatalistic for the future of television and the challenges proposed by the new technologies.

Molano Vega said that "Television came up with a sustainable model based on advertising. Advertisers were the ones who generate income for producers conduct their programs, emit in public TV and homes were all together watching TV. With the advent of pay TV content and channels to publicize options multiplied. Similarly they disminueron revenue channels and increased TVs per household, segmenting audiences. Now the internet again change the landscape with new ways of viewing the content through OTT and VoD platforms like YouTube and Netflix, providing even more options for advertisers. "

He said the Colombian Minister, for example, today most partede the advertising pie has it Google and its video portal Youtube, which this year reached one million advertisers, above tradionales channels at one time occupied the first place. He stressed that the marketing budget of companies has not increased and should distribute more options.

And if you consider that pay TV and internet ended with borders, ie, a person issues a content from anywhere and can be anywhere, it is difficult alos exercise regulatory control. In this scenario, what is the role of the state? What is the role of public TV? How the contents are regulated on new platforms without borders? How to protect the prosumer? How to protect copyright? How to develop local content and strengthen local indsutria being good business? What should be the new tax scheme? They were some of Llas questions posed by Diego Molano at the end of his speech.

Long live the TV

One of the people who disagreed with the minister was Eladio Gutiérrez, Spanish specialist in digital television and with extensive experience in the subject. He said that on the convergence there is much talk but little analysis of reality. And as an example recent statistics from the UK, where only 10% of viewers access content from mobile devices and 85% it does traditional way.

"My bet is that you get many years of life, many years of life to linear TV. The position of the front of the TV viewer is eminently passive, not an active say now I want to see this program then will go to the Internet page of the production process. That has not happened with the speed that some predicted. I think there is a lot of talk and little plausible realities and objective measures, "said Eladio Gutiérrez

Similarly Ricardo Villa, interactive media director of Spanish Television, who noted that in the last ten years rose daily television consumption among expañoles, from 192 300 minutes to pronounced.

"Although linear television expect long life, if you must reinvent themselves to meet the new technological challenges. The TV channels must leave today produce a series needs to include mobile applications, games, generate interest in history to continue talking and interacting with her as the new chapter is issued ". On the need to update the regulation taking into account the realities of the near future with convergence between DTT and new forms of transmission, said Eladio Gutiérrez that neither Latin America nor any other country has been considered, and therefore should not cause for concern.

Unesco regional analysis

In time, Gustavo Gomez, a researcher at Unesco, said the region is reviewing the laws of TV, but are not responding to the new realities such as digitization and convergence. They are being scattered or partial laws. "Is regulates TV or what? We should not be regulating television, create laws audiovisual media services, including non-linear and linear video on demand platforms such as traditional television. It is to base the regulation according to services and not technologies, as happens in Latin America. Today end up being ineffective and weak to control and sanction, "said the representative of Unesco.

He also noted that the new regulations should seek to protect copyright and fundamental rights, understanding that these are based on freedom of expression. To achieve this, it must be ensured access to broadcast TV, internet and work for less concentration of media in the same owners, common situation in Latin America that produces centralization of information and affects freedom of expression.

Colombia assumed the chairmanship of the PRAI

The Platform of Regulatory Audiovisual in Latin America, PRAI, is an association of regulators who settled in 2010 in order to strengthen and support the work of independent regulatory agencies in Latin American countries, in their efforts to ensure human rights, cultural diversity and representation in audiovisual content broadcast and distributed to various audiences.

During the meeting in Bogota, organized by the National Television Authority, ANTV, the founding members approved the statutes for the Platform. Among other points, they highlight being a space of consultation on the regulation of television and other forms of audiovisual; become a platform for exchange of information on legal and regulatory issues of common interest to all regulators, and configured as a space for discussion and dialogue troubleshooting and dissension among regulators. The working languages ​​are Portuguese and Castilian.

At the same meeting, it was decided that there will be a rotating presidency with a period of two years. As the first country president was appointed Colombia, at the head of Beatriz Quinones Cely, who is part of the National Television Board, the ANTV. The country holding the presidency will also house the headquarters of the Platform. The vice-presidency will be held by Chile.

Richard St.
Author: Richard St.
Journalist from the University of Antioquia (2010), with experience in technology and economics. Editor of the magazines TVyVideo + Radio and AVI Latin America. Academic Coordinator of TecnoTelevisión & Radio.



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