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With a 91% penetration and a daily average of four hours of consumption, television is Colombia’s most important media sector. It seems to be highly diverse and plural given that there are 800 national, regional, community, and subscription operators. However, audience share analysis shows that 80% of the audience is concentrated in just two private national-level channels—RCN and Caracol.

Caracol and RCN have the highest audience concentrations in the country—more than 80% of the audience. Public broadcasters have a smaller share and do not figure in the list of the twenty most viewed channels. The list is dominated by foreign pay channels (16 foreign channels as opposed to four Colombian channels).

CityTV, Canal Uno, and TeleAntioquía are the most watched national networks behind RCN and Caracol. City TV is ranked fourth, while Canal Uno and TeleAntioquia do not rank in the top 20.

Key facts:

  • Television penetration in homes: Some 91% of homes have at least one colour TV (Source: DANE).
  • Analogue TV penetration: public television signals reach 92% of national territory.
  • Pay TV penetration in homes: 85.82% (LAMAC, 2015) up from 50.35% in 2005[1].
  • Daily television consumption: 4 hours

There are five national channels in Colombia. RCN and Caracol are private whereas Señal Colombia, Canal Institucional and Canal Uno are public, are administered by the state, and are financed through a system of special funds. There are eight regional public channels. Of the 43 local operators, only City TV is for profit. The closed TV system is divided into two parts: there are 735 community television operators restricted to their local area; there are 63 subscription operators.

History of TV

Colombia adopted the Digital Video Broadcasting — Terrestrial European standard in 2008. Analogue signal shutdown is scheduled for 2019. Satellite television is important for access in rural areas where conventional television does not reach. Attempts have been underway since 2008 to license a third channel and diversify the market; however, competition guarantee problems have prevented the process from concluding.

The increase in pay TV consumption has led to increases in the audience for international channels (six of the ten most watched channels in Colombia are international, according to EGM 2014). Private national cable channels broadcasting news 24 hours a day have emerged, such as CableNoticias (2007), NTN24 (2008), Canal El Tiempo (2010), and Red Más (2014). This is a new development in Colombian television.

Media Selection

The television channels chosen for thorough investigation by MOM are listed below. The choice was based on audience share (according EGM 2014 third wave), the contents of the media (the presence of informative content, debate, or opinion), and its relevance in the public sphere. These criteria exclude sporting or entertainment channels.

Detailed information is found by clicking to the logo of each media organization.

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