|Launched||21 July 1961|
|Owned by||Telefónica Argentina
|Broadcast area||Argentina (International through Telefe Internacional)|
|Headquarters||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Channel 11 (Buenos Aires)|
|Channel 34 (Buenos Aires)|
|All Argentina Sattelite||Their own|
|Multicanal, Cablevisión and Telecentro||Channel 10|
The history of Telefe stretches back to 1957, when a group of alumni and lawyers from the Colegio El Salvador led by Fr. Héctor Grandetti, founded the company Difusión Contemporánea S.A. (Contemporary Broadcasting S.A.). This company, known as DiCon for short, submitted a bid in the licensing of two new TV channels in Buenos Aires, one on channel 11 and one on channel 13. On April 28, 1958, DiCon won the license for channel 11.
Original plans to construct the new station in Colegio El Salvador facilities fell through. Eventually, facilities were secured, and with the window to sign on air coming to a close, Canal 11 took to the air on July 21, 1961.
Financial problems forced the station to seek a backer, which would turn out to be ABC in the United States. ABC and DiCon formed Telerama S.R.L., a group that allowed DiCon to upgrade and expand its studio facilities.
In this era, the first mascot of the station, now known as Teleonce, came about: Leoncio, an anthropomorphic lion.
1970–89: The García and state-run eras
On October 17, 1970, businessman Héctor Ricardo García took over the station. Under his leadership, Teleonce went for a populist and news-oriented direction, adopting the slogan El canal de las noticias ("The News Channel"). Under García, Teleonce would climb to the top of the Argentine TV ratings.
Changes began in 1973, when the second government of Juan Perón took control of the news departments of channels 9, 11 and 13. Jorge Conti was named administrator and took over hosting duties for the newscast and other programs. This was followed in 1974 with the expropriation of all three networks; Conti became the administrator once again. This continued under the military dictatorship of the National Reorganization Process, with the Argentine Air Force co-adminstrating the channel with Conti, who remained lead newsreader.
In 1979, with the arrival of color television looming and facilities upgrades needed to allow color recording and broadcasting, the state bought the Teleonce plant from García, who had continued to own it, thus becoming a 100 percent nationally owned network. It would not be until 1987, with the 11-month run of Teledos, that García would manage another television network.
The 1980s started with the introduction of color telecasts on May 6, 1981, but the decade would become turbulent in the legal system. Twice under the dictatorship, a request for bids was issued. The first one, on August 19, 1982, received no offers; the second, on October 25, 1983, would result in Canal Once being handed back to Garcia. At that time, however, Raúl Alfonsín became President of Argentina. Among his first acts in office was to nullify the transfer of Canal Once to García, leaving it in the hands of the state for another six years.
1989: Privatization at last
As the 1980s began to close, financial problems and hyperinflation had brought Canal Once to its breaking point. The energy crisis that helped bring down Alfonsín's presidency had forced massive cuts in TV broadcast hours in Buenos Aires; with the ability to broadcast only four, later eight and ultimately ten, hours a day, and amidst the already rough economic backdrop, Canal Once teetered on the brink of bankruptcy. The closure of the station was being batted around at this time. However, salvation came when Carlos Menem announced that he would seek bids to privatize two of the state's three remaining Buenos Aires stations, Canal Once and Canal 13. One of the groups participating in this bidding process was Televisión Federal S.A., a group whose stakeholders were headlined by Editorial Atlántida and a group of privately owned TV stations from interior Argentina.
In December 1989, Arte Radiotelevisivo Argentino (Artear), a subsidiary of Grupo Clarín, won the bidding for Canal Once, but it had also won the bidding for Canal Trece. Artear chose the latter, and Televisión Federal took control of Canal Once on December 22, 1989. After 16 years of state management, the station was back in the hands of the private sector, and after a decade of branding as Canal Once, the new branding of Telefe, an acronym of the new ownership's name, was rolled out, with its first idents being the station name in blue on a white background (reflecting the colors of the Flag of Argentina) with the iconic station theme music and identification voiceover: Broadcasting from Buenos Aires, Telefe. LS 84 TV, Channel Eleven, Buenos Aires, Republic of Argentina.
1990s and 2000s: Dominance in the ratings
Telefe's arrival into the 90s was signaled with the debut of its iconic 3 circles logo with the station name in white in 3 colored circles (TE on Red, LE on green and FE on blue) but still retaining the ident theme and slogan.
With Gustavo Yankelevich (and after 1999, Claudio Villaruel) directing the channel's output, and with the introduction of satellite broadcasts nationwide, Telefe took to an unprecedented 20-year streak atop the Argentina ratings. It logged ratings wins in every year between 1990 and 2009, acquiring the rights to The Simpsons, Formula 1 racing and the franchise for Big Brother.
In 1998, Telefónica acquired ownership of Telefe and its eight owned-and-operated stations; that same year, Telefe launched an international signal aimed at viewers outside of Argentina. It also retained Telefe over Azul Televisión when it bought the latter in 2002. COMFER, Argentina's radio and television watchdog, forced Telefónica to sell off its involvement in Azul.
In 2010 and 2011, under the direction of Marisa Badía, Telefe lost its number one position in the ratings—which had not happened since just after the privatization of the station—to El Trece. In 2012, however, another change in management, this time to Gustavo Yankelevich's son Tomás, and shows like Graduados and Dulce Amor helped Telefe return to the top.
Owned and operated
- LT 84 channel 5, Rosario
- LU 84 channel 7, Neuquen
- LV 85 channel 8 "Teleocho", Córdoba
- LRI 486 channel 8, Mar del Plata
- LRK 458 channel 8, Tucumán
- LU 80 channel 9, Bahía Blanca
- LW 82 channel 11, Salta
- LT 82 channel 13, Santa Fe
Operated but not owned
- LV 83 channel 9 "Televida", Mendoza
- LT 88 channel 11 "Lapacho", Formosa
- LV 86 channel 13, Río Cuarto
- Channel 2, Posadas
- Channel 5 "Telesol", San Juan
- Channel 7, Jujuy
- LW 81 channel 7, Santiago del Estero
- LV 91 channel 9, La Rioja
- LT 80 channel 13 "13max", Corrientes
- Channel 11, Ushuaia
- Channel 13, Rio Grande
- Official website (Spanish)
- Telefe International
- Telefe Móvil (Telefe Mobile) (Spanish)
- Programación de Telefe (Spanish)