Uruguay: Strike One…

Since first being passed in December 2014 – and even before that – Law 19.307 on the Regulation of the provision of Radio, TV and other Audiovisual Telecommunication Services, popularly known as the "Media Law"1, has been the subject of several critics. Even once passed, 28 unconstitutionality actions were filed before the Uruguayan Supreme Court of Justice. The first judgement was issued on April 5th, and it declared some of the challenged articles as unconstitutional2. Yet, one of the articles that were challenged by the claimant of this particular action – an international direct broadcast satellite service provider – was not declared unconstitutional but was explained not to apply to the latter.

Not null but not applicable either...

Indeed, among many other articles challenged by the claimant, article 33 was not declared null, however regarding many of its aspects it was considered not to apply to the claimant by the Supreme Court Judges. Said article regulates advertising aimed at children and teenagers, and among other obligations it establishes that all advertising shall not produce moral or physical prejudice to children, and accordingly its broadcast will not directly do the following to children and teenagers to (i) incite them to buy products or services taking advantage of their inexperience or gullibility, or include misleading advertising, (ii) encourage them to buy the advertised products or services, or promise prices or rewards for new buyers, (iii) be presented in a way that takes advantage of children's loyalty or of their trust, especially on parents, teachers or other persons, or undermines the authority or responsibility of such persons, (iv) announce some form of discrimination, either for race, nationality, religion, age, or undermine in any way human dignity; (v) broadcast any type of non-traditional advertising in children programs.

When analyzing the unconstitutionality regarding the latter, most judges agreed that, it was not unconstitutional regarding the complainant, not because of the article itself, but because the plaintiff did not have locus standi. The foundation to such conclusion was that, even though the local legislator had not made any distinctions, it was obvious for most of the judges that it would be absurd to even try to regulate the advertising content of the channels on the grid, since the content of the same was given to the plaintiff "as is" from its origin, and the Uruguayan legislator has no competence on foreign channels' regulation. Accordingly, it would not be possible for the complainant to modify the content given to it by the channels, being as well out of the Uruguayan legislators' scope of duty the regulation of signals that are produced abroad and merely provided to the complainant for the latter to broadcast in Uruguayan territory. As an example, the judgment sustains that"it would be impossible to regulate advertising that, for example, a channel aimed at children, such as "Discovery Kids," sales to its advertisers, as it is also not possible to regulate the amounts of advertising minutes that such channel, completely alien from the local provider, destines in relation to the programming minutes."

What this implies...

Even though the judges found that their interpretation of the Law was obvious, it was not really what it was intended when the Law was first draft. Certainly, the Government in power at the time of passing of the Law had in mind that this article, as well as the Law as a whole, was applicable to all audiovisual communication service providers – except for internet services -, including paid TV services. So much so, that some of the most relevant signals/channels went to the Parliament in order to try to bring down some of the obligations imposed by the then bill, including this one. Never the answer was this would not apply to foreign channels.

In this context, what this judgment implies is that to this company – and arguably to other companies providing paid TV services - this particular obligation cannot be imposed since, as a principle, the Law that was passed in Uruguay cannot affect nor reach channels/signals produced in and native from a foreign country.

Strike one...

This conclusion of the Supreme Court added to the five articles that were in fact declared null3 have caused the Media Law damage as to its application and regarding its regulation that was delayed by the Uruguayan President until the results of the unconstitutionality actions were known. As to this date, 26 actions remain to be studied4 by the Supreme Court, and from the Government it is to be studied whether to completely derogate the Law and start from scratch or to simply modify some of its articles, and proceed to regulate the Law as is. This story has just started, but all of its players agree on one thing: this judgment was indeed strike one to the Media Law.


1 http://www.impo.com.uy/bases/leyes/19307-2014

2 Note that under Uruguayan regulation unconstitutionality declarations to certain laws only are applicable to the person/entity that filed the action, continuing to be completely enforceable to every other person/entity.

3 Articles 39 number 3, 55, 60 letter C, and 98 number 2 were declared null.

4 On April 11th the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an unconstitutionality action brought by the Independent Party, a political party, that had challenged article 143 on the distribution of free advertising time on election period for political parties according to the amount of votes obtained on the previous election.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.