Ecuador Lays the Smackdown on “Illegal” WWE Broadcast


EspañolEcuadorian authorities have launched an investigation into local television network Teleamazonas and their Saturday afternoon broadcast of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) program SmackDown.

Ecuador's Supercom is investigating local TV network Teleamazonas over its broadcast of "violent content" in the form of the pro-wrestling program WWE SmackDown
Ecuador’s Supercom is investigating local TV network Teleamazonas over its broadcast of “violent content” in the form of the pro-wrestling program WWE SmackDown. (El Comercio)

According to the Superintendency of Communication and Information (Supercom), the network’s airing of the pro-wrestling show violates federal laws against the promotion of violence, Teleamazonas reported on Monday, May 25.

Sebastián Corral, general manager of the network, said authorities could request the show be moved to another time slot, or taken off the lineup altogether.

The ex officio process opened against Teleamazonas is based on Article 66 of the Organic Media Law, which addresses “violent content.” According to the law, violent content is defined as depicting “intentional use of verbal, physical, or psychological force.”

Supercom said in a document that WWE SmackDown “runs the risk of becoming a television product incompatible with the cognitive development, criteria, and discernment of the audience.”

Corral countered by reminding Ecuador’s Communications authority that the show is entirely fictional: “No one is wounded, the fighters are actors.” The Teleamazonas general manager also complained that while Supercom seeks to further regulate their programming, Ecuadorian viewers are able to access either via cable television or the internet “adult movies, TV series with strong themes, or real fights.”

This is not the first time Teleamazonas and Supercom have faced off. In January, the regulation authority slammed the network with a fine for allegedly airing “discriminatory content.” Supercom also hit Teleamazonas with citations in December and June 2014 for various other reasons.

The superintendency itself has come under fire recently for laying a hefty fine on local daily La Hora for failing to cover a mayor’s speech.

Sources: Teleamazonas, El Universo.

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