Shut by Chvez, Venezuelas RCTV to return on cable
Thursday, July 12th, 2007

RCTV, Venezuelas oldest and most popular television channel before it was shut down 28 May by President Hugo Chvez, will resurface this month on cable, RCTV Director General Marcel Granier said yesterday.

Granier said the privately-owned Radio Caracas Television will broadcast on subscription television from July 16, some six weeks after being shut down when Chvez refused to renew its broadcasting license on grounds the network was conspiring to overthrow him. Granier said RCTV would meanwhile continue to fight for the right to broadcast openly so that we can reach all of the Venezuelan population without charging anyone.

RCTVs going back on the air is not a victory in the battle against President Hugo Chvez, but a triumph for the public which wants to enjoy our programmes, Granier said at a press conference. On cable RCTV will offer shows similar to those it used to broadcast, but it will not be investing in new programming, according to Granier, claiming that the government had stolen some $140 million worth of equipment.

With its soap opera-heavy programme schedule but also a firmly independent political line often critical of Chvez, RCTV was the countrys most viewed channel, and its shutdown in May provoked widespread protests.

(Source: AFP)