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Apr 4, 2019

HBO and Cable Operators’ Association Sign 5 Licensing Agreements

Cable operators in Belize will now be able to legally provide thirty programming channels such as HBO, MAX, Lifetime and SyFy. This comes after the signing of licensing agreements between HBO Latin America Group and the Belize Cable Television Operators’ Association.  For years, cable operators in the country have been distributing certain channels without authorization. HBO Latin America Group holds the exclusive rights to those channels in the region. Today, as the empowered body to negotiate copyright license for programming on behalf of all license cable operators, the Association, entered into the agreements with HBO LAG, at a cost, to gain authorization to offer the company’s channels and content. The good news is that prices for cable will not be affected for now. Reporter Hipolito Novelo reports. 


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

HBO Latin America Group has officially entered in the Belizean market. The group signed five license agreements for programming channels with the Belize Cable Television Operators’ Association. The regional content provider is seeking to prevent the continued unauthorized distribution of programming by cable operators in the country. For years, cable providers have been retransmitting signal from North America, providing tens of thousands of Belizeans with programmings such as HBO, The History Channel, Lifetime and A and E- channels that HBO Latin America Group holds the exclusive rights to.  With the agreements, those channels and an additional twenty-six are licensed to the Association for distribution. Evan Tench is the President of the Association.


Evan Tench

Evan Tench, President, BCTVOA

“The cable-TV industry has taken the lead in intellectual property compliance in the country having signed various copyright agreements with content providers and today is truly a proud for the cable operators to be signing a copyright agreement with HBO Latin America Group. This agreement is the most comprehensive contract with the most content to date. These agreements will in the near future allow us to provide new technologies and service to our customers like HBO Go.”


Unfortunately, for the content provider and association, there has been an explosion of pirating streaming services in the market place. Tench says that IP TV boxes and streaming content are illegal in the country. Chairperson of the Belize Broadcasting Authority, Francine Burns, says that the changes that consumers are experiencing positively contribute to the country’s standing as is relates to copyright compliance.


Francine Burns

Francine Burns, Chairperson, Belize Broadcasting Authority

“In line with our obligation under these international serious and our existing legislations we are today making strides towards full compliance through a specific category of entities and in this instance the cable operators. The BCTVOA is the body established to negotiate and enter into licensing agreement under the Broadcasting and Television Act. It has now concluded one such agreement with HBO for a variety of offering in terms of channels. Although it is not the first or the only existing agreement entered into by the BCTVO , it is one of the first to have concluded by the association in light of the recent accession to the various intellectual property treaties.”


Signing on behalf of the HBO Latin American Group, was Corporate Vice President Javier Figueras.


Javier Figueras

Javier Figueras, Cooperate Vice Price, HBO LAG

“When you think about HBO you think of quality. HBO has been gold standard of quality, storytelling in the world, producing some of the most celebrated shows in television history. Subscribers in Belize will soon be able to access HBO through additional multi-points of access. BY subscribing to the HBO Max package subscribers will be able to have access to HBO on Demand as well as HBO Go at no additional cost.”


Among the agreements signed is a settlement for years of past unauthorized distribution by cable operators. Hipolito Novelo, News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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