Costa Rica Cancels NBC Thinking It Was “Nicaraguan Broadcasting Company”


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SAN JOSE –  Television channel NBC was removed from Costa Rican airwaves last month because the acronym was thought to stand for the “Nicaraguan Broadcasting Company”, Telecommunications Superintendent Sutel announced this week, finally explaining the station’s mysterious disappearance.

The decision to remove NBC was made by national cable providers amid on-going tensions between the Central America neighbors over the San Juan River and Guanacaste province, which President Daniel Ortega said he wanted to reclaim for Nicaragua earlier this year. Initially NBC was only going to be cut for subscribers in Guanacaste and Costa Rica-Nicaragua border towns, though considering the nationwide scorn for Nicas, it was outlawed across the country, Sutel President Maryleana Méndez said.

“We realize this decision, like Nicaragua, inconveniences a lot of people,” Mendez said. “We thought this could serve to ease bilateral tensions, though it appears we might have been mistaken.”

Since cutting NBC, national viewers have been in an uproar. The channel carried rights to broadcast Saprissa games and ever-popular shows Combate and Intrusos, which Ticos can no longer access for bad news and soccer.
Infuriated Ticos subscribers have taken to the streets to protest the decision, though unfortunately most have turned the blame on Nicaragua.

“All I want is to watch ‘El Clasico’,” said Ronald Cordero of the Saprissa-La Liga soccer game, during an NBC protest march last week. “First the Nicas stole the Isla Calero, now they have robbed me of my favorite television shows. If we had an army, I’d consider this grounds for war.”

As stipulated by Sutel’s contract with NBC, the channel cannot be restored for an entire year

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