A number of mutations, including deletions, linker scan substitutions, and point mutations, were performed in the promoter of the late African swine fever virus (ASFV) gene coding for the capsid protein p72. The consequences of the mutations in terms of promoter activity were analyzed by luciferase assays using plasmids transfected into infected cells. The results showed that the promoter function is contained between nucleotides -36 and +5 relative to the transcription initiation site. Moreover, two major essential regions for promoter activity, centered at positions -13 and +3, were located along the 41-bp sequence, the latter mapping in the transcription start site. Sequence alignment with other ASFV late promoters showed homology in the region of transcriptional initiation, where the presence of the sequence TATA was observed in most of the promoters. Substitution of these four residues in three other late viral promoters strongly reduced their respective activities. These results show that cis-acting control elements of ASFV p72 gene transcription are restricted to a short sequence of about 40 bp and suggest that transcription of late genes is initiated around a TATA sequence that would function as an initiator element.