Argentina screens region's 1st Interactive TV channel

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BUENOS AIRES -- The Argentine cable company, CableVision TC1 2 is getting ready to launch Latin America's first ever interactive television channel this month.

For a monthly fee of $20, subscribers can chose from among 25 video games on the new Sega Channel, currently only available in the U.S., Canada. and the U.K..

The new channel is part of a more ambitious bid to turn CableVision TC1 2 into a fully operating telecommunications company for when the sector opens up to competition sometime between 1997 and 1999.

The Argentine industry is a monopoly controlled by Telefonica de Argentina and Telecom. The two companies bought the Argetine state-owned Entel when it was privatized in the early 1990s.

"The design of the network we are building, through which we will offer the Sega Channel and data transmission, will also allow us to provide telephone and Internet services," says George Stewart, general manager of CableVision TC1 2.

The cable company, which is also interested in introducing digital television, has already begun replacing its network with fiber optics and plans to hook-up 150,000 of its 500,000 subscribers to the new technology by the end of the year.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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