Another sector that protests: cable TV claims less taxes and complains about Netflix

by Kelvin
Another sector that protests: cable TV claims less taxes and complains about Netflix

Local content producers are threatened by the growth of foreign platforms, tax pressure and uncertainty

And one day, the telecommunications and local content production sector also demanded clear rules, minimum stability and lower tax pressure.

  

In this line, in addition asked that foreign companies that distribute content over the Internet, such as Netflix and others, pay for the use of physical networks that exist thanks to local investments.

They chose the framework that gave them the International Conference of cable television (ATVC), to expose the difficulties that different actors have to maintain the business. As they detail, they range from the possibility of making investments to turning dollars abroad to pay them to the signals they offer in their service packages.

And who exposed these needs were the president of the Chamber of Audiovisual Signal Producers and Programmers (CAPPSA), Sergio Veiga, and the ATVC, Walter Burzaco.

The Deputy Chief of Staff of the Nation, Andrés Ibarra, and the president of Enacom, Silvana Giudici, listened to them. And when it was time to speak, the secretary of Modernization also took the glove and assured that the message had been received and that they would be given an answer to the questions raised.

What did the entrepreneurs say?

Veiga began by talking about the great transformations that the sector has been experiencing, especially in recent years, not only because of technological change, but also due to changes in user consumption.

He commented on the efforts to innovate that are carried out at local and regional level, and for the strong commitment of investment and work of the companies.

"Today the competition is global. For those of us who produce and generate here, our scale is local and there are turbulences that hinder our actions due to tax burdens., for the difficulties in accessing credit, for the problems in complying with the foreign payment chain, and for the disadvantages we face before global competitors, "he said.

However, Veiga said, the industry continues to innovate. But he warned that, for this process to continue, the tax burden must be decompressed.

"We ask for clear rules to be able to develop, to grow. The uncertainty we endure is not good at all, nor for anyone. That is why we ask the Government, the opposition, the entire political arc, we ask for stable rules of the game, basic agreement, "he said.

He added: "We need the vision of a competitive, productive Argentina, integrated to the world. We require an efficient management of resources. And, consequently, lower tax burdens. In short, we ask you for a minimum horizon of macroeconomic and monetary stability. Clear rules to continue the innovation processes and, thus, continue to compete, "he closed his part.

Then it was Walter Burzaco's turn. In one of the auditoriums of the Hilton Buenos Aires subsoil, where the ATVC Conference will be held until Thursday, the ATVC manager reviewed what was done by the cable sector over the years, and said that we had to continue investing in networks .

"We have to continue expanding the highways (networks) throughout the country. But we need to give certainty to the investments, to have predictability, with a State policy oriented towards convergence," he said.

He stressed that Pay-TV companies operating in the country, "mainly SMEs," he said, create direct and indirect work, influence the GDP and tax in the country, in addition to reinvesting what they get.

"But due to technological development there are new ways to meet the demands of consumers, through the OTT (streaming service providers, such as Netflix), which are developed in a totally deregulated context, which implies that there are regulatory asymmetries" , Held.

He pointed out that the audiovisual sector in Argentina is over regulated, which is why it is necessary that "our partners be released from high tax burdens, and excessive bureaucratic controls," because, he said, "the 700 SMEs of cable inside are in critical condition. "

He argued that it is no longer possible that companies that invest in infrastructure do not receive a benefit from it. "To propose that networks do not perceive benefits is absurd. Remuneration for the use of networks and other services is vital for the continuity of our services.", he said, paraphrasing in some way statements made last July by Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS, regarding the exploitation of network infrastructure.

The allusion is for companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other video streaming platforms that do not pay for network investments that must be made by those who provide Internet services.

As these companies offer more content and in higher quality formats, the demand for capacity is increasing. Not only because users request it, but because it is not the same to transport content in HD than in 4K. And that greater investment always remains, and almost exclusively, on the part of who offers the Internet service.

For the companies that offer this service, this situation is asymmetric, because while they have to face the growing investments, while the providers of content on demand only do so in content production and not in infrastructure.

Therefore, said Burzaco, the challenge lies in adopting a flexible regulation that, in the face of new competitive dynamics, aims to have similar rules for similar services. "With pride, with emotion and with satisfaction, we can affirm that we have been contributing to the country for more than fifty years, affirming identities, developing national culture and building the bridge towards a constantly evolving future," he concluded.

The president of Enacom, Silvana Giudici, made a kind of management balance of what was done by the entity in these years, and proposed sweeping with the regulatory aspects to raise the asymmetries between local and international content producers.

Then, it was the turn of the Deputy Chief of Cabinet, Andrés Ibarra, who was responsible for highlighting the actions carried out in telecommunications during this Government.

"We are at the antipodes of the previous management, and this is part of what is coming. We have taken the message about the reduction of loads and we will take the necessary decisions so that the sector is the engine of growth of the rest of the economy "concluded the minister.

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