Pegaso joins Mexican satellite market

Company will offer triple-play package

MEXICO CITY — Mexican conglom Grupo Pegaso, privately owned by telecom and sports mogul Alejandro Burillo Azcarraga, will unroll a satellite TV service in 2008.

Company will also offer a triple-play package of TV, Internet and voice once it obtains a telephony license. Pegaso veep Alejandro Orvananos said the company would initially invest around $150 million and aims to have a 10% share of the satellite market by 2012. He said Mexico’s sat market is expected to grow by up to 1.5 million subscribers during the next five years from today’s 1.5 million.

Sky Mexico, majority-owned by Televisa, has had Mexico’s satellite TV market to itself since it effectively pushed DirecTV out, partly by refusing to provide Televisa’s popular free-to-air channels. Sky bought DirecTV’s sub list in 2005, and DirecTV took a minority interest in Sky Mexico.

Mexico’s antitrust commission is now pushing Televisa to change its tune.

“Televisa needs to compete on its own skills, not by limiting other competitors,” Orvananos said.

Sky has become Televisa’s second- biggest revenue stream behind its broadcast biz — generating 7.5 billion pesos ($691.6 million), or nearly 20% of Televisa’s revenue in 2006.

Grupo Pegaso is the umbrella for Burillo’s diverse privately owned interests, including mobile telephony, a share of PanAmSat Mexico and several soccer teams. Pegaso last year bought several TV stations in Puerto Rico, Miami and New York and will launch net Caribevision on July 1.

Burillo is a former Televisa exec who launched satellite TV services at Televisa and is the cousin of Televisa topper Emilio Azcarraga Jean.

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