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Colombian Content Producers Rail Against New TV Quotas – Variety

Colombia’s leisure business is up in arms over a authorities decree which has lowered the 70% nationwide manufacturing quota for primetime TV to 20% as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.

Its beleaguered producers, actors, screenwriters, crew members and ancillary companies will face even better challenges if demand for homegrown productions start to fall. Unbiased producers org Asocinde, led by CMO producer-VP Ana Piñeres, despatched an enchantment to the federal government whereas actors guild ACA has sued in opposition to the decree.

Some suspect that the TV sector pressured the federal government to go this ruling in order that they might fill their programming with cheaper canned imports.

Nevertheless, the 2 main free-to-air channels, RCN and Caracol, which held a duopoly for many years till the institution of a 3rd channel, Canal 1, in 2017, have caught to the unique quotas. Each are prolific producers of nationwide content material and have produced sufficient hours of their 22 years of existence to fill 18 channels with primetime programming for 1.three years, alleges Alexandra Cardona, president of writers’ rights administration group, Redes. Each networks are mentioned to have stopped manufacturing on 38 reveals using greater than 4,000 individuals on account of the well being disaster. However they’re anticipated to renew as soon as the restrictions are lifted.

Cardona was collaborating in a Zoom discussion board Might 1 on Colombian Senator Angelica Lozano’s Fb account, which included Piñeres, Mario Mitrotti, head of the Latin American Audiovisual Administrators Alliance; Santiago Cabrera, govt director of the Actors Union; Preciosa Media CEO Claudia Rodriguez and Maria Fernanda Cespedes, govt director of Colombia’s Academy of Movement Photos Arts & Sciences.

The discussion board individuals concluded that Decree 516 was pointless and primarily enacted to assist regional channels and former state-owned Canal 1, now a public-private entity for the reason that entry of personal buyers led by Miami-based Hemisphere Media Group, RTI of Patricio Wills who runs Televisa Studios, and former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria.

In response to those allegations, Canal 1 president Ramiro Avendaño advised Variety: “The short-term decree and restrictions apply to all channels and aren’t meant to profit one channel greater than one other.”

“Within the explicit case of Canal 1, we proceed to provide native content material as intensely as ever,” he asserted, including that the channel has put biosecurity measures in place and has elevated its information programming hours in addition to launched new common content material.

Whereas officers insist that the decree is just a brief measure to regulate to the present suspension of all productions, the leisure sector fears that the brand new quota may keep in place even after the stay-at-home restrictions and different measures are lifted. Actors stand to lose out on royalties, which they fought for many years to amass.

“It’s absurd that none of us have been consulted,” declared Mitrotti, who identified that Colombia is the third largest producer and distributor of telenovelas on this planet. “Colombia’s movie and TV industries are highly effective forces to reckon with,” he added.

The nation’s unemployment fee has risen from 10.eight in March 2019 to 12.6 a 12 months later, Cardona contends, with the majority of the unemployed coming from the leisure sector and its ancillary companies.

Sylvia Constain, the Minister of Data and Communication Applied sciences, responded to Piñeres’ enchantment on April 30, reassuring her that the decree didn’t ban networks from broadcasting extra nationwide content material than the 20% quota stipulated nor “forestall every channel from selecting and designing the content material it broadcasts.”

“The decree merely acknowledges that it’s not possible to generate content material throughout the pandemic the place social isolation is significant to guard life,” she wrote.

It’s unclear why Constain abruptly resigned final week.

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