Azteca pre-sales increase by 30%

MEXICO CITY — TV Azteca announced Thursday advertising pre-sales of $310 million for 1998, a 30% increase over 1997 pre-sales of $240 million.

A number of pre-sales clients have placed 100% of their broadcast TV ad commitments with the No. 2 broadcaster rather than divide their budgets between it and its bigger rival, Televisa, TV Azteca said.

Those clients include McDonald’s, Burger King, Nissan, Volkswagen, Kraft, Bayer, Levi’s, Lee, Nintendo and Citizen.

Azteca said it has captured 33% of national TV ad spending in 1997, and executives have previously said they expect to finish 1997 with between $400 million and $450 million in ad revenue.

The broadcaster projects the Mexican ad market will grow to $1.5 billion in 1998. Azteca topper Ricardo Salinas Pliego told Variety in a recent interview that his goal is to capture 40% of TV ad spending next year.

Azteca attributed much of its success to its original programming. In 1998, the company will increase its level of production of primetime programming to 90% from 80% currently. It will produce 12 telenovelas, the soap-opera serials that are the mainstay of Mexican TV.

Also helping drive ad revenue next year, Azteca said, are the World Cup and exclusive rights to the Super Bowl and NBA games.

Televisa has yet to provide data on its pre-sales.

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