Mex b’casters armed for battle

TV Azteca takes on Telemundo

The big guns are out — literally — in Mexico’s broadcast wars.

TV Azteca recently sent in heavily armed cops and attorneys to shut down Telemundo reality show “Quinceanera: Mommy, I Want to Be an Artist,” produced by Giorgio Aresu‘s Nostromo.

The beef? TV Azteca says host Alan Tacher is under exclusive contract with them through 2010, and says it sent Telemundo a letter in late July warning the NBC Universal-owned web not to hire him — or else.

Telemundo has made it sound as if TV Azteca owner Carlos Salinas Pliego sent in his private shock troops to break up the reality show, which features competish between 14-year-old girls. TV Azteca says the armed forces were Mexican officials and are a “normal” part of enforcing “any” Mexican court order.

Scuffle is just the latest dispute in NBC’s long-stymied plans to break into the Mexican market as both a producer and broadcaster. Telemundo lags far behind its U.S. rival Univision, which airs Mexican telenovelas and entertainment from Televisa.

If Telemundo continues to poach talent from Mexico’s duopoly, it will be asking for further fights.

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