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Latin America
Turner in clash with Argentina?s operators
quinta-feira, 04 de abril de 2002 , 16h28 | POR REDAÇÃO

CableVisión and Multicanal, Argentina?s leading MSOs (accounting for more than 80% of the market), have stopped carrying CNN en Español and CNN International, news channels owned by Turner Broadcasting System; and Film Zone, an entry-level movie channel. Operators and programmers have been wrangling over prices since the peso collapsed late in 2001. Turner said it was ?disappointed? by the move, which was especially lamentable because it had occurred during ?negotiations in good faith?. News channels of this caliber were all the more important in light of the conflicts in Afghanistan and the Middle East, not to mention Argentina itself, the company said. Turner concluded the release by recalling its longstanding partnership with both operators and expressing confidence that a satisfactory agreement would be reached. Financial difficulties have prevented most operators from honoring their obligations to international programmers since Argentina?s crisis became acute. The restrictions on dollar withdrawals that followed the collapse of the currency board made matters even worse. The MSOs in question have foreign debts amounting to 2.5 billion US dollars due to acquisitions. They insist on paying creditors and programmers in local currency. Argentina has some 5 million pay-TV subscribers. Supercanal, the third-largest MSO, has filed for protection from creditors.

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