TV Azteca denies rift rumors

MEXICO CITY — TV Azteca issued a statement Wednesday denying rumors of a rift between the founding partners and a possible breakup of its operations.

Rumors began circulating last week that Azteca CEO Ricardo Salinas Pliego had fallen out of favor with fellow investors Moises Saba and Alberto Saba. Salinas Pliego and the father and son Saba purchased two channels from the government in 1993 to form TV Azteca.

Speculation was that the television company would be divided in two, with one channel for Salinas Pliego and another for the Sabas. The men also reportedly were scheduled to meet with government officials to discuss the partnership’s dissolution.

TV Azteca’s rival, media giant Televisa, also has been the subject of recent rumors of infighting at the top.

Privately held TV Azteca categorically denied the reports. “It is totally false that Mr. Ricardo Salinas and Mr. Moises Saba have broken off their relationship as partners in TV Azteca,” the company said in a statement.

But a rupture is not inconceivable considering that Salinas Pliego and Moises Saba have had their differences from the very beginning, said one media analyst.

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