Relations between programmers and operators have never been worse. This became clear on Tuesday, October 15, the first day of the ABTA 2002 conference in São Paulo. Currency depreciation and the proposed new industry model have put international programmers on the defensive. They agree to negotiate terms suitable to present conditions but want to do so case by case, without a public debate, and preferably excluding franchisors. On the other hand, operators have suspended payments to programmers, although they won?t admit it in public and the suspension is supposed to be temporary. Globosat?s Alberto Pecegueiro avers that the situation is under control, but his opinion isn?t shared by others according to well-informed sources. As if to confirm the crisis, the funds designed to finance domestic production under Ancine?s rules are practically non-existent because programmers aren?t making remittances to their parent companies overseas. (Ancine is the national motion picture industry regulator.) They aren?t receiving payment from operators, who claim not to know what exchange rate to use or whether to negotiate an agreement on past-due payments first. Programmers are hinting at cutting off feeds, while operators threaten to terminate all contracts unilaterally. None of this is out in the open. Both sides are keen to keep up appearances.