In this article we will look at SeAC, the Brazilian subscription TV regulation, and what requisites it applies to companies in this sector.
Regulation for Subscription TV
The Brazilian subscription television industry is currently regulated by a law approved and was put into force in September 2011. It is referred to as the Serviços de Acesso Condicionado regulation, or Conditional Access Services law, which substituted the former General Telecommunication Law in power since 1997. Similar to the former law, it delegates regulation and enforcing power for this sector to the Brazilian Telecommunications Agency, or Anatel.
This law covers subscription television companies that use a variety of distribution technologies, of which the most common ones in the country are Direct to Home satellite broadcast, or DTH, and Cable TV or TVC.
SeAC law introduced many requisites for Brazilian subscription television operators largely devoted to the protection and development of nationally produced television content and enabling more competition to this market. Some of its dispositions include broadcasting nationally produced content during prime time and allowing telephone operators to offer subscription TV.
While it was put in force in 2011, some of its dispositions have just recently been, or are yet to be, enforced by Anatel. Companies unable to comply with all the requirements can issue a declaration to Anatel stating technological or economical impediments for the required implementations, which is analyzed by the organization and can serve as a basis for exemptions.
SeAC law introduced a list of must carry channels that subscription television operators should include in all of their commercially available content packages. Some of these channels can be identified as government official or of public interest.
SeAC requires the distribution of:
- All publicly distributed analog channels from the covered region, which include all of the country’s national coverage public channels and also regional ones
- A channel reserved for Câmara dos Deputados, or the Brazilian National Congress, which refers to TV Câmara
- A channel reserved for Senado Federal, or the Brazilian Senate, which refers to TV Senado
- A channel reserved for Supremo Tribunal Federal, or the Brazilian Supreme Court, which refers to TV Justiça
- A channel reserved for public interest radiofusion services by Executive Power, which refers to TV Nacional Brasil
- A channel reserved for Executive Power, which is yet to be implemented
- A Cultural and Educational channel administered by the Brazilian Federal Government, which refers to TV Escola
- A community channel for NGO’s and NPO’s, which is yet to be implemented
- A citizenship focused channel administered by Federal Government, which refers to TV Brasil
- Channels administered by municipalities and states legislative institutions
- A channel administered by a local university, university centers or other superior education institutions
All Brazilian DTH operators Sky, Vivo, Claro, GVT, CTBC and Super i TV are required to include national coverage free to air channels in their consumer packages, and must offer them in an uninterrupted sequence, or a single block in the navigation structure of the set-top box.
Anatel requires the following channels to be offered by DTH operators:
- Canção Nova
- Ideal TV
- Mix TV
- Record News
- Rede Brasil
- Rede Record
- Rede Vida
- TV Aparecida
- TV Globo