The two major cable TV companies in Buenos Aires are Cablevision and TeleRed. Installation costs are around $100, and basic cable packages start at $100. If you upgrade to digital, it costs an extra $15. Upgrades such as HBO packages or other movie packages cost anywhere between $10 and $40 extra per month. You can set up online if you can navigate the Spanish websites, which aren’t necessarily user-friendly. TeleRed’s website is a bit easier than Multicanal. If your home has previously been set up for cable with one of these providers, and you choose the same provider, a technician won’t necessarily need to come to your house. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be charged the installation fee, as it’s a standard fee for beginning service.
DirecTV is a major provider of satellite TV services throughout Latin America, including Buenos Aires. Basic packages start at $130 a month, with premium packages costing around $170, and upgrades such as HBO, sports, and movie packages costing between $10 and $95 monthly. Setup costs $120, and a technician will have to come to your home. You can set everything up online, and if you have any questions, there is an option for a live chat with a customer service operator — you’ll need Spanish for this, but basic Spanish should get you by. You don’t need any sort of special permission inside the city of Buenos Aires or in the province.
LyngSat Guide provides information on satellite TV channels and settings.
The five national broadcast networks are:
- América TV (Canal 2) – general entertainment
- Canal 7 – TV Publica
- Canal 9 – general entertainment, news and sports
- Telefe (Canal 11) – general entertainment
- Canal 13 – general entertainment (together with Canal 11, this is the network with the highest ratings)
Other free-access channels:
- Cronica TV – news and general programming
- Canal 26 – news
- Encuentro – state-sponsored cultural programming
- Canal Luz – Christian family broadcast
- Canal Santa Maria – Religious TV from Mercedes City, Buenos Aires Province (Spanish and English)
- Senado TV – Live from the Argentine senate
- CMTV – Music TV station from Buenos Aires (Spanish and English)
Localized versions of most US cable channels (A&E, ESPN, TNT, etc.) come with cable and satellite packages, and most English-language films and TV series are subtitled (while some are completely dubbed) in Spanish. Popular news channels include TN (Todo Noticias, 24-hour news), CNN Español, and C5N (Canal 5).