By Leah Hochbaum Rosner

With both a new date and a new location, this year’s 17th annual edition of the Jornadas de Cable convention in Argentina promises to be both new and different, and most importantly, full of activity. Organized by satellite and cable organizing associations Cámara Argentina de Distribuidores de Señales Satelitales (CaDiSSa) and Asociación Argentina Televisión por Cable (ATVC), the market will take place at the Hilton Buenos Aires Hotel, instead of its usual locale of the Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel & Convention Center: definitely an overdue move, as suggested in last year’s VideoAge reports. And due to the fact that Argentina’s presidential elections will be taking place in October, the event has been moved to September 25-27 from its traditional early November date.

Jornadas was moved to September with two purposes in mind,” said Walter Burzaco, president of cable organization ATVC, when asked why the convention was undergoing so much change in a single year. “One is to give exhibitors more time for their sales follow-up after the event, and the other is to give the industry the opportunity to make a strong institutional statement before the elections.”

Organizers expect roughly 3,000-3,200 attendees, on par with last year’s affair, which saw upwards of 3,000 television executives convening at the Buenos Aires hotel. Burzaco, for one, isn’t at all surprised by the convention’s continued popularity. “Jornadas is an important event for Argentine and Latin American operators to attend because they can gather in Buenos Aires to exchange information, share experiences, learn from the conferences about technical, educational and regulatory frame topics, and find novelties amongst products and/or services exhibited by programming and technical suppliers,” said Burzaco.

This year, exhibitors include Fox Latin American Channels, Latin Broadband, HBO Ole International Marketing Ltd., Hallmark Channel, Disney & ESPN Media Networks, MTV Networks Argentina, Tecnous, Megaservice-ASDA, EWTN, Aurora Networks and more.

Representatives for Germany’s Deutsche Welle will also be on hand at the Hilton. Silvina Márquez, who serves as the company’s agent for Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, said that Jornadas is “the most important fair in regions like Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Peru,” so she attends every year.

She went on to say that she especially likes the intimate nature of the market, which allows her to get to know folks from up-and-coming networks. “It’s important to greet newer broadcasters,” Márquez said. “Some are very small, but they absolutely need to be supported.” Often, she continued, “this part of the world gets hit by economic crisis and smaller broadcasters simply can’t afford to travel to markets like these. I wish something could be done about this.”

Deutsche Welle, which has stations broadcasting in German, English and Spanish-languages in Latin territories, recently introduced a slate of programs in German that air in Latin regions within one or two days of airing in Germany. “The German community in this part of the world is happy,” said Márquez. But she stressed that her company’s focus while in Argentina will be the expansion of new media projects. “We are currently working on a mobile program with a broadcaster in this region,” she said, failing to reveal which broadcaster they’re in talks with since negotiations are ongoing.

But while Deutsche Welle is coming to the market with the specific purpose of growing its mobile marketplace, Burzaco opined that the event is advantageous to all who attend. “The goal of the institutions that organize Jornadas is to show a robust and ever-growing cable TV industry in Argentina and the Southern Cone,” he said.

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