About two weeks ago cable distributors received a notice from Anatel telling them they must comply with the rule on inclusion of a channel dedicated exclusively to Brazilian movies in their lineups. The notice alludes to provisions in the Cable Act and Culture Ministry Decree 2206/97 on the mandatory movie channel. Anatel wants cable companies to report back on compliance with this rule within 90 days.
The move is largely due to a complaint by Canal Brasil, the only channel registered with the Culture Ministry for this purpose and hence the main party interested in seeing the rule enforced. Executives with operators who received Anatel?s notice say they plan to challenge it. They will argue that compliance is impossible since only Canal Brasil is eligible in accordance with the legislation. Many people expected the Culture Ministry to sponsor a channel that could compete with Canal Brasil, but nothing of the kind has materialized so far. If the law is enforced as it stands, Canal Brasil is in practice a must-carry and Anatel is obliged to take action.