RCN Television Colombia

I don't watch much TV, but know something about RCN Television Colombia because I'm an indie filmmaker. From what I hear, TV is vastly more popular than its more "artsy" cinematic counterpart.

It's one of the biggest private networks and has a big impact on filmmaking because it is one of the major financiers of Colombian films. From what I understand, contracts to actors may commit them to doing first a film and then to a TV series.

RCN Television Colombia had a huge presence at the 2011 Cartagena Film Festival that I attended. They held the only closed party on the inauguration night which was impossible to crash. Show biz.

Colombia is known for its "Telenovelas" that are essentially soap operas that are hugely popular. My own observations are that this culture has had a big impact on acting styles here and lead to a lack of subtle film actors but naturally, there are always exceptions. Emphasis is placed on looks and the silicon to flesh ratio is high if you get my meaning...


RCN Television Colombia is a Colombian private television network which started broadcasting in 1967 for one hour a day. The two series it broadcasted through the official television network back then were the American television series Bewitched and a local production titled El Hogar (The Home).

RCN stands for Radio Cadena Nacional (National Radio Broadcast) and, as its name implies it was a radio station and it took part of the television network as RCN Television. Around 1976 RCN was re-launched as a television production company with more than just one space in the official channel’s schedule.


Along its competitor Caracol TV, RCN TV is one of the most important television production companies in Colombia and in Latin America by producing telenovelas (Soap Operas), game shows and by broadcasting news and sports events. RCN was the first Colombian company that broadcasted a live show in color, being it the 1980 Miss Colombia beauty contest which granted the company the rights to broadcast such event and, has held them ever since.

Below, a clip from La Hija del Mariachi:


In the late 1980s it became part of the OTI (Organizacion de Television Iberoamericana – Organization of Iberoamerican Television) and gave it the rights to broadcast the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. The station is also responsible of producing telenovelas who have been international hits in different parts of the world, such as “Café, con aroma de mujer” and “Yo soy Betty, la fea” (Ugly Betty). The latter one’s format and storyline is licensed by RCN to multiple broadcasters worldwide and in several languages thanks to its success.

Market Share

In 1998 RCN got its own channel and by the year 2000, its broadcast was already reaching more than 90% of Colombia’s viewers. It now reaches 97% of the Colombian population through 13 different stations. In July 2008, RCN Television Colombia started to offer newscasts online in English, therefore becoming the first Colombian TV network in doing so. RCN News in English is available online at 7am and 7pm, Monday through Friday.

Website & Schedule

Over at canalrcnmsn.com you find Local and international news articles, as well as video clips. You can also check out their programming lists where you’ll see show time’s and show information as well. If you’re in Colombia and have access to the internet but not to a television set, you can stream their live feed right on their website, along with a widget that shows you what’s currently playing and what’s next.

RCN Television Colombia specializes in telenovelas; therefore, you’ll see that throughout the day and even during prime time, Colombian and Foreign soap operas are broadcasted for the most part of the day. During the morning you’d get to watch a morning show followed by news, then telenovles all afternoon until the sun sets. After a one hour news show you may get more local telenovelas, as well as local reality shows or even movies.

Social Media & Polls

RCN is quite popular in Colombia thanks to the content it delivers. Its tag line reads “Nuestra Tele” (Our TV) and, RCN Television Colombia does a great job involving their viewers with polls online, Social Media feeds and even web exclusive content so they know what will happen next on most of their shows and telenovelas.

Return from RCN Television Colombia to Colombia News

Return from RCN Television Colombia to Colombia Travel Guide

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Sandy W. Coleman from California

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