Caracas, May 14, 2007 (venezuelanalysis.com)— Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez issued the decree today by which the new television channel that will replace the opposition-oriented RCTV. According to the decree the new channel, known as TEVES, will not generate programming itself, but will exclusively broadcast independently produced programs.
According to Telecommunications Minister Jesse Chacón, TEVES, which stands for Venezuelan Social Television, is supposed to be the country’s first public television, as opposed to government TV, of which there are several channels.
The decree, which was published today in the official Gazette No. 38,681, states that the Venezuelan state will initially provide all of TEVES’s funding. After a while, though, according to an official from the Ministry of Communication and Information (see interview below), the new channel should be financially self-sustaining.
Also, TEVES is supposed to be completely independent of the government, said Vice-Minister for Communicational Strategy, Amelia Bustillos, in an interview with the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo. Rather, it will be controlled by an independent foundation. The initial board of directors, though, will be appointed by the Ministry of Communication and Information, reported the newspaper El Universal today.
TEVES is replacing the strongly opposition-oriented RCTV station, whose broadcast license the Chavez government is refusing to renew. The 20-year license expires on May 27th of this year. According to government officials, RCTV’s license will not be renewed because of its support for the 2002 coup attempt and its 652 violations of the Law on Responsibility in Television and Radio.
An Interview with the Director of Public Policy of the ministry of Communication and Information, Luisana Colomine
Caracas, May 12, 2007 – At 12:01 am on May 28th a new channel will come on the air in Venezuela, with new, socially-oriented programming. It will be called Venezuelan Social Television (TEVES).
The general director of public policy in the Ministry of Communication and Information, Luisana Colomine, spoke with PANORAMA and clarified that TEVES will strengthen its programming gradually as time passes, and that the television channel will function initially with state financing as is the case with the start of any public service channel.
"In the future we want it to be self-financed. That is the objective, that it can maintain its own budget," stated the director and journalist, who added that they will make an offer which will include a 16 minute promotional video so that sponsors, private and public, can invest in advertisement.
What will be seen for the inauguration of TEVES?
After the presentation, at 12:01 am on May 28th, TEVES plans to begin its programming with the movie "Eternal Bolivar," an hour and a half long production made by Villa del Cine.
For the first few days there will not be any news programming because we are still working on the structure of it. While independent national producers work to make Venezuelan soap operas, TEVES will broadcast four soap operas from Peru, Colombia and Argentina.
Why is the signal from RCTV the best option for launching a public service channel?
It is the best option because it has the best sector of the national radio-electric spectrum for a model public service channel. It is the best, fullest signal. In any corner of the country, you put a clothes hanger on top of the TV and the only channel that comes in clear is RCTV. The other channels whose broadcast licenses are expiring don’t have this privileged sector of the spectrum.
Will TEVES have some similarity to the pro-Chavez channels?
It will definitely not be alike. This channel is being conceived with a concept of public service. It won’t look anything like VTV or any other state channels. This detail has been carefully dealt with. This new channel will not even be required to broadcast the Aló Presidente program. It will not be a government channel; it will be a public service channel.
There won’t be any problems with its political slant?
It is a lie, as many have said, that you will have to have a certain political position to work in TEVES. Even people from the opposition can bring their production. It will not be a channel that excludes anyone, it will be very participatory. Any person can participate in its production and no one will be excluded for belonging to one political party or another. Here we will open the doors to everyone. That’s part of the idea of public service.
How will the program format be, and how many hours do you have to put on the air?
The initial format planned to broadcast the programs will be 8 x 3, that is, every 3 days 8 hours of programming will be repeated. We already have 300 hours of programming.
There is a production team that will provide 6 months of trial and transition programming while the news and Venezuelan soap operas are being produced.
Everything is all set for the transition and later on the board of directors will make the decisions about the final structure and all the programming.
Will the TEVES antennas have nationwide coverage?
TEVES will begin its operation with two transmitters. It’s a gradual process and we are doing everything possible to make the broadcast visible in the whole country. Technical studies indicated the programming would only be visible in Caracas and in Maracaibo, but we are doing everything possible to make the signal visible in every corner of the country.
Translated by Chris Carlson