Bogota, Colombia Colombia's cable regulator accepted
86 applications for pay TV licenses and disqualified another 54, as the country moves one
step closer to legalizing its informal cable industry.
The CNTV is scheduled to announce the winners Friday (Oct.
30).Legally, the original bidders had until this past Friday to request a revaluation by
the CNTV, which ranked the approved proposals with a points system.Two companies are vying
for the one new license that is up for grabs for the appealing market of Bogotá proper --
Colombia's capital and largest city, with a population of 5 million -- True Vision (which
obtained the most points) and city-owned telco Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Bogotá.
Consorcio TV Cable holds Bogotá's one current cable license.
In central Colombia, where four licenses will be granted,
the highest rating was obtained by Inversiones América del Sur Ltda., formed by a handful
of programming companies. The second-highest rating went to SuperCable Telecomunicaciones
S.A., a joint venture between local programmer Diego Fernando Londoño and Caracas,
Venezuela-based MSO SuperCable.
Third place went to Consorcio TV Cable, while the
fourth-place slot was bagged by Cable Centro S.A., an investor group of several informal
operators including Servisatélite, Bogotá's largest unlicensed cable company.
The two cable licenses in the northern region will most
likely be granted to Cable Costa S.A. and Cable Norte S.A.
In western Colombia, four regional licenses will be
awarded. The front-runners are Cable Unión de Occidente S.A., a partnership between the
three current license-holders in the cities of Medellín, Pereira and Manizales; Señal
Satélite del Pacífico S.A.; Unicable S.A. (backed by Cali license-holder Cable Visión);
and Empresas Públicas de Medellín.