T’visa flies Sky to Central America

Co. launches satellite service in Costa Rica

Mexican media conglom Televisa is expanding satcaster Sky Mexico into Central America as it continues to rev up its pay TV business.

Televisa exec VP Alfonso de Angoitia said Tuesday in a conference call with investors that the company had launched a satellite TV service in Costa Rica and would soon start up in Nicaragua before expanding into Panama and the Dominican Republic later this year.

He said the new countries would add some 100,000 subscribers to Sky Mexico’s nearly 1.5 million during the next year.

Sky Mexico currently generates $600,000 per day in free cash flow, de Angoitia said, and is now the company’s second biggest revenue stream behind broadcasting, generating around 20% of its total sales.

Conglom has also been buying up stakes in Mexican cablers in key markets to expand its triple-play biz beyond Mexico City.

De Angoitia said that Televisa was lobbying the government to water down a proposed 20% tax on gambling businesses — the new front for the world’s biggest producer of Spanish-language content.

Televisa aims to have more than a dozen bingo and off-track betting parlors operating by year’s end.

On Monday, Televisa reported that second-quarter profits fell 15% to $188 million due to shriveling ad sales in its broadcast biz. Last year saw record booty on ads sold ahead of the presidential elections and the soccer World Cup.

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