With the launch of television channel TeleSur, seek funded primarily by Venezuela, help the reaction to it has been mixed. David wrote an excellent recap at Global Voices Online on how others around Latin America have been responding to this new media source.
As my small contribution to that entry stated, the local cable company we have used in Cochabamba had no immediate knowledge of TeleSur, when I sent them an email inquiring whether it would be added to the roster of channels.
If TeleSur does become an option for Bolivian television viewers, who will get to see it? According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadística in Bolivia, approximately 54% of Bolivian households own a television. That number is not too shabby considering the high levels of poverty in that country. There are a respectable number of local channels the one can receive using the old bunny ears.
However, TeleSur, if and when it becomes available in Bolivia, will most likely be an exclusive to the cable companies. Data from the PNUD found that only 6% households had television cable connections. Likely that number is higher due to the frequency of clandestine hookups. In addition, the cost per month for cable varies between $18-25 per month, which an exorbitant amount for many Bolivians. Due to this high cost, most that currently enjoy television cable are working, middle and upper classes in the urban centers.
So is this the audience that TeleSur is targeting? I wonder if TeleSur reports glowingly on Evo Morales, will it be those who have cable connections who would nod their heads in agreement?