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Venezuela top court rules for beleaguered TV network

[JURIST] The Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice [official website, in Spanish] Wednesday suspended an order issued by the government's telecommunication commission requiring Radio Caracas Television (RCTV) [media website, in Spanish] to register as a "national audiovisual production service" or face shutdown after agreeing to hear a case on whether cable and satellite television channels are obligated to transmit government-mandated content. The Chamber of Subscription Television, an industry group representing cable and satellite stations, had petitioned the court to clarify an ambiguity in the classification. Television Minister Jesse Chacon has said that RCTV, regardless of how it is disseminated, is considered a national audiovisual production service [Union Radio report, in Spanish].

The commission's order was seen by critics as an effort by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez [BBC profile] to further crackdown on RCTV, the country's oldest independent television station thrown into disarray in May when Chavez denied it a state broadcast license [JURIST report]. The Venezuelan government also seized RCTV's building and broadcasting equipment. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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