The television broadcaster Globovision, long critical of the Venezuelan government, has been excluded from government plans to switch broadcast formats from analog to digital, Reporters Without Borders said Friday.
Globovision, which is Venezuela's sole national television broadcaster that routinely criticizes the government, "has been excluded from a new system of Open Digital Television (TDA), which the government launched on February 20 in a televised announcement that all the broadcast media had to carry," the advocacy group reported.
"Under the TDA system, all TV stations currently broadcasting by means of an analogue signal will eventually have to switch to a digitally processed signal in order to continue operating," it said.
In a statement on its website, Globovision called the move a "death sentence."
"What we're seeing here is the government using technology to centralize, control and restrict -- more and more -- television in Venezuela," said Globovision Vice President Carlos Zuloaga, in an interview with CNN en Español.
"This is a way of putting Globovision to the side, to not accept any type of criticism. They want to control all the messages. What we see is a government that is more and more sensitive, that is more and more bothered by any type of information that is different from the messages that they give ... it's an action against the freedom of expression."
The government's website announcing the plan made no mention of which organizations would be included or excluded.