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Conventional television, the one that arrives through an antenna that is on the roof, or by the cable operator, has not died or is in a coma, it is transformed and adapts to a changing ecosystem and is consolidated in the genres and formats made in live and direct.
A local uninformed, uninformed, has announced the decline of regional television in front of extended television, without having any idea what he is talking about – in a demagogic entelechy typical of his bad teacher.
They have been killing television for many years, just as they said the press would die with the arrival of radio, or radio with the small screen. What has really happened is a phenomenon that Marshall Mcluhan described with this phrase: “The content of one medium is another medium”; With a twist Bolter and Grusing complemented the concept and called it remediation. What happens is that, with the appearance of new forms of mediation, existing channels are reconfigured in such a way that they contribute their characteristics to the new ones, which narratively adapt them to their technical characteristics. In the end, there is a complete and not a substitution.
According to an investigation by the consulting firm ß “Linear pay TV did not suffer subscriber losses at the hands of“ streaming ”in Colombia”, instead, it increased by around 279,000 subscribers, compared to 2020.
The foregoing with respect to cable users, in terms of audience, that is, viewers, it is pertinent to highlight that television in Colombia is operated by private parties and by the State. Private TV is so ‘bored’ with the concessions, that they continue to renew and pay for them every 10 years and have done everything possible to maintain the monopoly and not let in a third private channel – it’s sarcasm, in case the uncouth did not understand- . It is true, yes, audience levels have dropped, but it is also true that the programming offered on these channels is generalist, then, obviously, some thematic viewers stay on cable or look for content on OTTs.
On the public television side, the rating does not play —or should not play— a preponderant role, since the fundamental function is to build identity and be a collector and guardian of the audiovisual memory of the territories. To that extent, regional television plays a fundamental role: covering areas that are unreachable for commercial media, which are not interested in communities that are not consumers, but citizens, as Martin-Barbero would say.
In 2019, when the national government was promoting the approval of the 1978 law, one of the main arguments was the need to expand internet penetration in the country. The Vice Minister of Connectivity said that “The difference in penetration between urban and rural areas is more than 32%, a condition that is aggravated by socioeconomic strata even at the municipal level” and that 50% of Colombian households do not have internet.
What this means is that, although digitization is imminent, it is not a fact that all Colombians can access the content managed there, therefore, it reinforces the importance of regional television as it is the only one that reaches areas not covered by other means, providing information and entertainment where the internet cannot reach.
That is the importance of bringing professionals to regional channels who know what the industry is about, and above all who understand the role of a public medium. Not people looking for dividends or producing content to compete with Netflix.
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