Venezuelan TV channel seeks return to air

RCTV television channel was suspended a year ago by Hugo Chavez government.

Caracas: RCTV television channel, suspended a year ago by the government of President Hugo Chavez, is reapplying for permission to resume pay cable TV programming in Venezuela, its director said on Friday.

"It`s been a year since the unconstitutional, illegal and arbitrary closure of the broadcasts of RCTV International, via subscription television in Venezuela," the channel`s director Marcel Granier said at a news conference.

Granier said RCTV had submitted documentation to the National Telecommunications Commission seeking permission to resume programming, but noted that its past requests had been squelched by bureaucratic obstacles.

RCTV, one of the country`s two most watched private television networks, has waged a running battle with Chavez over press freedoms.

In 2007, the government revoked its commercial broadcast license but it continued to reach the Venezuelan market via subscription programming on cable and satellite TV.

However, it was shut down again last year along with five other pay TV channels for not adhering to rules that require live broadcasts of all Chavez`s speeches.

RCTV was closed in order to silence "the voice of protest against all the inefficiency of the government, and its manifest inability to solve the problems" of the country, Granier said.

Bureau Report