A BVI Cable TV technician programming the new digital receivers.
Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
BVI Cable TV through its parent company, Innovate Companies, continues to have discussions at all levels to solve the issue of Latin content being broadcasted to local subscribers. In the case of the BVI, for close to three years, BVI Cable TV has been providing a mixture of English and Latin content. The issue is that the BVI is viewed as being part of the Latin American market.
With the switch to digital programming nearing completion, Cable TV is expected to offer an expanded range of channels with better picture. However, there will still be some channels that will broadcast Latin content.
"I wish I had an answer because if we can snap our fingers we will do it ourselves, but we are dealing with international copyrights and programming rights and how those are bought and sold which are not things that we can control," said Seth Davis, CEO of the Innovative Companies.
He added, "It's being addressed at every level. At our level we are working with the programmers and they are releasing more and more programming to the Caribbean market because there is a huge English-speaking base here, even though they treat it as Latin America. The TRC [Telecommunication Regulatory Commission] as a Government agency, Minister Mark Vanterpool [Minister for Communications and Works] and Guy Malone (CEO, TRC] have been in discussions as to how we can help at a Government level. We are also working with the Caribbean Cable Television Association to ensure that programming is available, recognizing that the BVI among a lot of islands are English speaking predominately."
Last year, the Virgin Islands disclosed plans to join other Caribbean countries to rally international experts to be removed from Latin Caribbean classification.
Bernadette Lewis, Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) said the BVI is not alone when it comes to the issue of Latin content being provided by cable operators in English-speaking countries of the Caribbean.
Last year, Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool met with the Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States, Mr. Robert McDowell for an intervention on the challenges faced by residents in regards to the delivery of the Latin content being provided. At the time, the Minister stated that he believes that the BVI can work as the United States Virgin Islands did with the U.S. Congress because they had the same problem of getting the attention of the content providers.
"Despite the fact that we are only 9000 users, the attention to us isn't that great because we are a little blimp on their screen, but they (CTU) can help us to be recognized," Minister Vanterpool had stated.