Mogul sells interest in America TV

BUENOS AIRES — Media topper Carlos Avila has sold his 35% interest in the holding company that controls Buenos Aires broadcaster America TV and other media assets as he focuses on The Golf Channel.

The Paraguayan businessman sold his shares for an undisclosed sum to millionaire and national congressman Francisco De Narvaez and Grupo Uno, which is owned by Daniel Vila, Alfredo Vila Santander and Jose Luis Manzano.

The buyers now own 95% of the holding company, which has been renamed America Medios. Luis Nofal owns the remainder.

Vila will run America TV, the fourth-ranked broadcaster in Argentina, and the group’s cable news net and a smaller TV broadcaster and two radio nets. Assets are valued at around $90 million.

De Narvaez, who may run for governor of Buenos Aires province in October’s election, is stepping up media investments to complement and help promote his La Rural convention center in Buenos Aires. He wants to expand on its offering of live entertainment and build a cinema complex.

Grupo Uno has interests in cabler Supercanal Holding, broadcasters and print media in smaller Argentine markets.

Avila bought 83% of America TV in 2000 for $150 million to expand Torneos y Competencias, his sports-media production company.

America TV slid in the ratings and lost ad coin as an estimated $50 million debt limited its programming to newscasts, yakkers, sports and gossip programs.

In 2004, Avila began selling off America TV to concentrate on the Golf Channel in Latin America in partnership with DirecTV Latin America.

America TV is prepping gamers like “Jeopardy” and “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” and womanizer telenovela “Lalola” to try to build audience numbers this year.

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