President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner introduced the new sports television station called DeporTV on Thursday, another step in her “Football for All” plan. The channel is free and can be viewed in high definition on station 2401 of Open Digital Television (TDA). It can also currently be seen online and could potentially come to cable in the future.
The channel will host football events such as the qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and the Copa Argentina, other non-football sporting events like hocky and a program solely about Lionel Messi.
“We are here to celebrate the opening of the first public sports channel in high definition, DeporTV, with programming that can be accessed for free by all Argentines in high definition at the highest quality,” President Fernández said.
The president defended her Football for All program, which is believed to be in jeopardy if current mayor of Buenos Aires Mauricio Marci takes the presidential office in 2015.
“I have heard from many neighborhood leaders how Football for All changed lives in the neighborhoods, because the kids, and the husband too, stay at home,” she said. “They no longer have to go to the gas station or bar to watch but can instead watch the game all together, eating torta fritas at home.”
The event was also used to honor athletes that were forced to leave Argentina during the 1950s and forced to “disappear” during the most recent Argentine dictatorship in the 1970s.
Soccer legend Diego Maradona spoke at the presentation via videoconference from Dubai.
“We are going to have a channel that is not going to lie to us,” he said.