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Future looks Golden for Televisa

World Brief

MEXICO CITY — No. 1 Spanish-lingo broadcaster Televisa’s feevee Televisa Networks is adding a seventh channel, movie channel Golden, to its Latin American feeds this month and bulking up for expansion in 2006, including a possible Asian language channel. 

“Our major business in the past has been Mexico, but we are reaching out,” Televisa Networks CEO Bruce Boren says.

Sales at the feevee grew 6.8% during the second quarter compared to the previous. However, its revenues of $23 million-plus in the second quarter amounted to only 3.1% of Televisa’s total revenue.

Televisa Networks operates 23 Spanish-lingo channels in 44 countries in Latin America, Europe, and made its first break into Asia this year with 4 channels in Australia. Current spread includes an all-telenovela channel, Mexican classic movie channels and branded Latin musicvideo channels.

It is upgrading its facilities, which will allow it to more than double the channels it will be able to offer by mid-2006.

Boren said the feevee had expanded from 11 million subs to 13.5 million during the first nine months of 2005, While most new subs came from Latin America and Mexico, 60% of revenue growth came in Mexico and the U.S.

TuTV, the fevee’s joint venture with Univision, has grown to 1.3 million subs since its launch in 2003.

“There is a small digital Hispanic market right now, probably only 3 million, but it is growing rapidly and as carriers add more Spanish language product, it will be an incentive for more to upgrade,” Boren says.

TuTV snagged carriage deals with Cox and Charter this year and has its sights set on Comcast’s 22 million subs. “The digital Hispanic share of that is probably very small, but a small percent of 22 million is still very interesting,” Boren says.

Feevee is also looking toward Asia. Boren says there have been initial talks with carriers in Japan and Malaysia for a telenovela channel.

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