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Presidential decree prohibits encoding of World Cup broadcasts
quinta-feira, 30 de maio de 2002 , 16h54 | POR REDAÇÃO

As predicted by PAY-TV Real Time News last week, Globo has solved its problem with owners of large-diameter C-band satellite dishes, threatened by FIFA?s ban on free-to-air broadcasts of the World Cup soccer finals in Japan and South Korea. President Fernando Henrique Cardoso signed Tuesday, May 28, a decree prohibiting encoded broadcasts of all World Cup matches, not just those involving the Brazilian squad. The decree doesn?t mention Globo by name, although the network holds exclusive broadcasting rights for Brazil. At a press conference after the signature, Communications Minister Juarez Quadros explained that the decision was taken in response to lobbying by congressmen on behalf of 9 million C-band dish owners, many in remote areas with no local TV stations to offer an alternative. Mr Quadros said Globo itself hadn?t approached him at any time, either to request an encoding ban or to seek assistance with probable complaints from FIFA about breach of contract. However, he admitted it wouldn?t be possible to encode the signal with or without the presidential decree because the broadcasts will be analog. The legality of the decree is based on articles 217 and 220 of the Constitution and on the Brazilian Communications Code, article 6, clause (d). Article 217 of the Constitution says the state shall promote formal and informal sporting activities. Article 220 prohibits restrictions on ?information? provided by any process or vehicle. Article 6, clause (d) of the Code defines telecommunications services in terms of the use to which they are put and states that broadcasting (radio and TV) is a service for direct reception free of charge by the general public. Mr Quadros said the decree will benefit more than 50 million people, assuming six users per dish (9 million dishes). The decree came into force on Wednesday, May 29, the date of publication in the Federal Register (Diário Oficial da União).

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