Caracol Television demands to review Colombian Canal 1’s concession

The Colombian FTA TV channel Caracol Television presented a lawsuit to force that country’s Information and Communication Technologies Ministry (MinTICs) to pronounce itself ‘on the inequality in the value set by the Channel 1 concession’ in 2016, as reported by Colombian newspaper ‘La Republica’.

The case dates back to 2016, when the then regulator of the sector, the National Television Authority (ANTV), awarded Channel 1 for 10 years to a corporation composed of Hemisphere Media Group (largest shareholder, with 40%), NTC (Noticias Uno), CM & and RTI, named Plural Communications, in exchange for a COL $ 107.5 billion offer (USD 32.5 million), much lower than that of both Caracol and RCN – until that year the only two commercial FTA TV channels in the country- had paid for the renewal of their respective licenses, during a seven-year period.

At that time, RCN, Caracol, Programar TV, former programmer of the space, and Jorge Baron, producer who made use of the space, had challenged the process considering that the value of the license to be delivered would mean a possible property detriment for the State for Its low cost.

From that time until today, neither ANTV nor the judicial courts explained the reason for the cost differences in the licenses. In August 2019, Hemisphere Media Group had announced the extension of the Channel 1 concession license for 10 years (until April 30th, 2037), without the channel having to make  any additional payment.