Argentina bans ads on pay TV

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[Buenos Aires, Argentina] Due to viewer complaints, Argentina's broadcasting regulator is banning commercial breaks during movies on pay TV starting April 1, cutting ad revenue 30% to 40% for channels such as Cinecanal, Space and TNT. Viewers should enjoy films without interruptions because they pay a monthly fee for the service, said Julio Barbaro, who heads the regulatory body. Channel operators plan to fight the initiative, said Javier Asensio, president of Argentina's biggest cable advertising group. Marketers such as Coca-Cola and Unilever have increasingly turned to cable, which reaches 50% of Argentina's TV homes. Ad spending on cable rose 70% in the first nine months of 2003, recovering from a 23% drop during the country's 2002 economic crisis.
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