Last weekend saw the launch of the Armed Forces’ brand new television channel (TV-FANB), almost five months after its creation was announced. At the event, Nicolas Maduro made an unusual admission about the overall quality of State television.
“…sometimes, not always, we make very boring TV. There some who think that’s revolutionary. Then, nobody watches it”.
Let’s get real. It’s not “sometimes”. Propaganda is dull by definition.
Still, Maduro’s admission lays bare that even after spending so much money, SIBCI’s programming remains unloved. The government has produced State Media System, not Public Service Broadcasting.
Not that they care. Maduro knows that, loved or not, the hegemony has succeded.
OK, he’s exaggerating the numbers, but the point is that the hegemony’s goal isn’t much quality, as quantity. They’re putting together a kind of content deluge, a barrage TV channels and radio stations that aims at ubiquity first, quality a distant second.
Private media can still exist, but on a tight leash. Just look to what Televen (the second largest private TV channel), went through to get its five-year license renewal: they had to wait to the last minute before the old one expired, and the pressures they came under to weaken their already anemic political broadcasting still futher was barely concealed. Many regional TV stations have no idea if they’ll survive the upcoming digital switchover.
The hegemony’s about replacing what Maduro calls “trash TV” with trash of a different kind. The effort is about filling the grid, but not offering options to the viewer. And that’s simply a waste…
Back to TV-FANB. I wonder if they will ever try to do a Venezuelan counterpart to NCIS.