Cuba plans 24-hour TV channel with foreign content

April 3rd, 2008 - 2:19 pm ICT by admin  

Havana, April 3 (DPA) Cuba plans to start a 24-hour television channel in the first half of this year that would draw most of its programming from broadcasters in other countries, a government media official has said. Speaking Wednesday night on the fringes of a writers’ congress in Havana, Luis Acosta, vice president of the Cuban Institute of Radio and Television, did not comment on the content of the new channel’s broadcasts but said about a dozen countries would contribute.

Cuba now has five state-run channels, one of which, Cubavision International, can only be seen over cable television. At the beginning of the year, it became Cuba’s first channel to broadcast 24 hours a day.

Acosta said his institute plans to invest about $15 million this year on new equipment and the modernization of Cuban television.

Observers said the media developments indicated that the Cuban population was being prepared for reforms after a half-century of isolation.

Since Raul Castro took over as president from his ailing brother, Fidel Castro, in February, the Cuban government has introduced changes that include allowing its citizens to purchase cell phone service, computers and foreign electronic appliances as well as stay in high-end hotels previously limited to high-level officials or tourists.

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