An opposition TV station in Venezuela along with five others were taken off the air early Sunday for violating rules issued by President Hugo Chavez's government, a station spokeswoman said.
The new rules require stations to air Chavez's speeches, among other mandates.
A spokeswoman for opposition channel RCTV, Gladys Zapiain, said all Venezuelan cable television providers dropped the station and the other channels from their line-ups.
"We have just been taken off the air," said Zapiain. "There was no prior notification."
Mario Seijas, president of the Venezuelan Chamber of Cable Television, told AFP that in addition to RCTV, the dropped channels include Ritmo Son, Momentum, America TV, American Network and TV Chile.
The providers argued that they had failed to comply with a government regulation issued in December, Zapiain said.
Under the measure, every television or radio station whose programming is at least 30 percent Venezuelan-made is considered a "national" media outlet.
As such, they are obligated to carry speeches by the president and other officials, as well as official government announcements.
Chavez critics view many of those speeches, which can last for hours, as government propaganda.
On Saturday, RCTV failed to comply with the regulation for a second time.
That day, Chavez addressed thousands of followers in western Caracas, demanding "absolute loyalty" and telling them he embodied the heart and soul of the Venezuelan people.
"I am not an individual, I am the people," Chavez told a crowd of supporters. "It's my duty to demand respect for the people.
The president asked for voters to renew the ruling party's control of both National Assembly houses in upcoming elections in order to be able to "continue building our new socialist state."
Lest we forget... a big fan of his works in our FCC. Niiice.
Six TV stations forced off air in Venezuela - Yahoo! News UK