More Changes Seen at Argentine Cable Confab

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Buenos Aires, Argentina-Unease over the declining commercial importance of the country's premier cable show has forced further changes from its backer, the Argentine Cable Television Association (ATVC).

The aim is to reverse last year's lackluster attendance by pushing the event, widely known as Jornadas, as a more regional get-together.

To that end, the ATVC is letting producers from the neighboring markets of Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay compete for its programming awards.

The organization is drastically cutting down on booth space. For the first time, programmers' booths will all be 20 square meters. The maximum size for other vendors' booths is 90 square meters-a sharp contrast from the maximum of 140 square meters allowed in previous years.

Dramatic consolidation of Argentina's cable-systems business has made the event a much less important business venue, particularly for programmers, many of which now have permanent offices here.

Currently, three cable companies-CableVisión, Multicanal and Supercanal Holding S.A.-control around 65 percent of the subscriber market, while independent operators have shrunk to fewer than 350 from as many as 1,200.

This year's Jornadas-to be held here Oct. 17 through 20-will take place simultaneously with the annual trade show sponsored by the country's broadcast-equipment trade group, CAPER, which represents broadcast-TV and radio-equipment vendors.

The two groups held parallel events until three years ago, when CAPER decided to split off and organize its own show.

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